The heterotrophic seedling growth can be defined as a
product of two components: (1) the weight of mobilized seed reserve,
and (2) conversion efficiency of utilized seed reserve to seedling
tissue. The first component can be further divided into (1) initial seed
weight, and (2) the fraction of seed reserve, which is mobilized. The
objective of this study was the identification of the sensitive seedling
growth component(s) in response to drought and salinity stresses.
Two experiments were separately conducted using various salinity
levels (osmotic pressure) of 0, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1, 1.25 and 1.5 MPa
created using NaCl as first experiment and by polyethylene glycol
(drought stress) of 0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.2 and 1.4 MPa in second
experiment. Seeds of five crops species (Hordeum vulgare, Brassica
napus, Zea mays, Medicago sativa and Medicago scutellata) were
used in each experiment. In both experiments, seedling growth,
fraction of seed reserve utilization and weight of mobilized seed
reserve decreased with increasing drought and salt intensity.
However, drought and salinity stresses had no effect on the
conversion efficiency. It was concluded that the sensitive component
of seedling growth is the weight of mobilized seed reserve.