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Journal of Arid Land  2019, Vol. 11 Issue (1): 75-85    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0121-7
Orginal Article     
Eco-physiological studies on desert plants: germination of Halothamnus iraqensis Botsch. seeds under different conditions
BHATT Arvind1,*(), R BHAT Narayana1, MURRU Valentina2, SANTO Andrea3
1Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Safat 13109, Kuwait
2 University of Cagliari, Cagliari 09123, Italy
3Independent Researcher, Selargius09047, Italy
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With the aim to investigate if the halophyte HalothamnusiraqensisBotsch.can be suitable for re-vegetation and remediation of salt-affected lands, this study evaluated(1) the effects of photoperiod, thermoperiod, storage period and wings' presenceon its seed germination, and (2) the ability of its seeds to have successful germination recovery after salt stress. Germination tests in different photoperiods (12 hlight/12 h darkness and total darkness) and thermoperiods (15°C/20°C and 20°C/25°C) were conducted for seeds collected in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and2016. The seeds collected in 2016 were sown under different salinity levels(0, 100, 200, 400 and 600 mMNaCl)to assess the salinity tolerance during the germination. Wings' presence highly inhibited seed germination of this species in both photoperiods andthermoperiodsunder all salinity level treatments. In addition, the germination recovery occurred well when seeds were deprived of their wings. The photoperiod of 12 h light/12 h darkness and the thermoperiodof 15°C/20°Cwere the best conditions for seed germination. Germination percentages of H. iraqensis seeds decreased with the increasing storage duration, especially after three years of the collection.In addition, H. iraqensisseeds were able to germinate under different salinity levels, and their germination percentages decreased with increasing salinity levels. H. iraqensisseeds have the ability to recover their germinationafteralleviating the salt stress, irrespective of photoperiod, highlighting the halophilous character of this species.

Key wordswings' presence      storage period      photoperiod      thermoperiod      salt stress      HalothamnusiraqensisBotsch.     
Received: 15 March 2018      Published: 10 February 2019
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BHATT Arvind, R BHAT Narayana, MURRU Valentina, SANTO Andrea. Eco-physiological studies on desert plants: germination of Halothamnus iraqensis Botsch. seeds under different conditions. Journal of Arid Land, 2019, 11(1): 75-85.

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