Document Type: Research paper
Department of Horticulture Sciences, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
To study effects of salicylic acid (SA) treatments (0, 0.5, 1 and 2 mM) in two forms of seed priming (for 24 h) and spraying on seedling at 4-6 leaf stage an experiment was conducted on periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus Don.) with and without exposure to a mild cold stress of 8 °C (for 32 h). Seeds were sown in trays containing peat-based substrate (with 20% sandy loam field soil). Transplants of both groups were treated with mild cold. Seedlings were grown in greenhouse with an average day/night temperature of 25/20± 2°C until their blooming. Seed emergence rate and percentage, activities of catalase (CAT), guaiacol peroxidase (GPX), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), CAT gene expression, height and number of nodes per plant, and days to flowering were evaluated. Results showed that mild cold stress together with salicylic acid at 0.5 mM (as either seed priming or spray on seedling) was the best treatment to accelerate the flowering, and improve growth parameters and antioxidant enzymatic activities. Thus, mild cold stress enhanced the positive effects of SA treatments on cold acclimation of periwinkle (particularly when associated with spraying, which is a simple administration method). Accordingly, it might be recommended for its seedling production and cultivation in temperate climates to prevent late spring frost damages.