Spermidine priming promotes germination of deteriorated seeds and reduced salt stressed damage in rice seedlings

  • Piyada THEERAKULPISUT Khon Kaen University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Salt-tolerant Rice Research Group, Khon Kaen 40002
  • Noppawan NOUNJAN Khon Kaen University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Salt-tolerant Rice Research Group, Khon Kaen 40002
  • Netnapit KUMON-SA Khon Kaen University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Salt-tolerant Rice Research Group, Khon Kaen 40002
Keywords: deteriorated seeds; reactive oxygen species; rice; salt stress; seed priming; spermidine


Deterioration of seeds is an important problem leading to low germination and uneven crop establishment causing poor crop growth and productivity. Soil salinity is another factor limiting crop cultivation. Spermidine (Spd) is a compound widely reported for diminishing adverse effects of salt stress in plants. In this study, the effects of Spd priming on normal and deteriorated rice seeds were investigated under salt stress during germination and young seedling stages. Rice seeds were primed with H2O and Spd solutions for 24 h before germination. All rice seeds were grown in Petri dishes containing 5 ml of deionized water with 0 (control) or 150 mM NaCl (salt treatment) for 1-10 d. The results showed that priming groups had higher germination percentage (GP) and germination index (GI) in both normal and deteriorated seeds. Moreover, deteriorated seeds primed with 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 mM Spd showed significantly higher GP and GI than H2O-primed and non-primed seeds. During early hours of hydration, Spd-primed seeds produced reactive oxygen species (ROS) faster and at higher level than non-priming and H2O priming groups in both control and saline conditions. Earlier accumulation of ROS was associated with more rapid germination. In young seedlings, salinity stress caused a marked decrease in growth and increased membrane damage indicated by higher malondialdehyde (MDA) and electrolyte leakage (EL). Conversely, Spd priming increased growth and reduced membrane damage of rice seedlings established from normal and deteriorated seeds under salt stress. The finding suggested that Spd priming can effectively improve germination of deteriorated seeds and enhance seedling growth under control and salt stress conditions.


Metrics Loading ...


Bailly C, El-Maarouf-Bouteau H, Corbineau F (2008). From intracellular signaling networks to cell death: the dual role of reactive oxygen species in seed physiology. Comptes Rendus Biologies 331(10):806-814.


Chen BX, Li WY, Gao YT, Chen ZJ, Zhang WN, Liu QJ, … Liu J (2016). Involvement of polyamine oxidase-produced hydrogen peroxide during coleorhiza- limited germination of rice seeds. Frontiers in Plant Science 7:1219.


Chen K, Arora R (2013). Priming memory invokes seed stress-tolerance. Environmental and Experimental Botany 94: 33-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envexpbot.2012.03.005

Chhetri S (2009. Identification of accelerated aging conditions for seed vigor test in rice (Oryza sativa L.). MSc Thesis, Suranaree University of Technology.

Chunthaburee S, Sanitchon J, Pattanagul W, Theerakulpisut P (2014). Alleviation of salt stress in seedlings of black glutinous rice by seed priming with spermidine and gibberellic acid. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca 42(2):405-413. https://doi.org/10.15835/nbha4229688

Demidchik V, Straltsova D, Medvedev SS, Pozhvanov GA, Sokolik A, Yurin V (2014). Stress-induced electrolyte leakage: the role of K+ permeable channels and involvement in programmed cell death and metabolic adjustment. Journal of Experimental Botany 65(5):1259-1270. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/eru004

El-Maarouf-Bouteau H, Bailly C (2008). Oxidative signaling in seed germination and dormancy. Plant Signaling & Behavior 3(3):175-182. https://doi.org/10.4161/psb.3.3.5539

Esfandiari E, Gohari G (2017). Response of ROS-scavenging systems to salinity stress in two different wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca 45(1):287-291.


Gill SS, Tuteja N (2010a). Reactive oxygen species and antioxidant machinery in abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 48(12):909-930. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2010.08.016

Gill SS, Tuteja N (2010b). Polyamines and abiotic stress tolerance in plants. Plant Signaling & Behavior 5(1):26-33.


Gomes MP, Garcia QS (2013). Reactive oxygen species and seed germination. Biologia 68:351-357.


Heath RL, Packer L (1968). Photoperoxidation in isolated chloroplasts. I. Kinetics and stoichiometry of fatty acid peroxidation. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 125(1):189-198.


Huang Y, Lin C, He F, Li Z, Guan Y, Hu Q, Hu J (2017). Exogenous spermidine improves seed germination of sweet corn via involvement in phytohormone interactions, H2O2 and relevant gene expression. BMC Plant Biology 17: 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-016-0951-9

Hussain S, Zheng M, Khan F, Khaliq A, Fahad S, Peng S, … Nie L (2015). Benefits of rice seed priming are offset permanently by prolonged storage and the storage conditions. Scientific Reports 29(5):8101.


Ishibashi Y, Kasa S, Sakamoto M, Aoki N, Kai K, Yuasa T, ... Iwaya-Inoue M (2015). A role for reactive oxygen species produced by NADPH oxidases in the embryo and aleurone cells in barley seed germination. PLoS One 10(11):e0143173. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0143173

Jisha KC, Puthur JT (2016). Seed priming with beta-amino butyric acid improves abiotic stress tolerance in rice seedlings. Rice Science 23(5):242-254. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rsci.2016.08.002

Jyoti, Malik CP (2013). Seed Deterioration: A Review. International Journal of Life science and Pharma Research 2(3):374-385.

Kreslavski VD, Los DA, Allakhverdiev SI, Kuznetsov VlV (2012). Signaling role of reactive oxygen species in plants under stress. Russian Journal of Plant Physiology 59:141-154. https://doi.org/10.1134/S1021443712020057

Kumar SPJ, Prasad SR, Banerjee R, Thammineni C (2015). Seed birth to death: dual functions of reactive oxygen species in seed physiology. Annals of Botany 116(4):663-668. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcv098

Li S, Jin H, Zhang Q (2016). The effect of exogenous spermidine concentration on polyamine metabolism and salt tolerance in Zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud) subjected to short-term salinity stress. Frontiers in Plant Science 17:1221. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.01221

Liu M, Chu M, Ding Y, Wang S, Liu Z, Tang S, … Li G (2015). Exogenous spermidine alleviates oxidative damage and reduce yield loss in rice submerged at tillering stage. Frontiers in Plant Science 31:919.


Miller G, Suzuki N, Ciftci-Yilmaz S, Mittler R (2010). Reactive oxygen species homeostasis and signalling during drought and salinity stresses. Plant, Cell & Environment 33(4):453-637.


Moreno C, Seal CE, Papenbrock J (2018). Seed priming improves germination in saline conditions for Chenopodium quinoa and Amaranthus caudatus. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 204(1):40-48.


Munns R, Tester M (2008). Mechanisms of salinity tolerance. Annual Review of Plant Biology 59:651-681.


Parvin S, Ran O, Sathiyaraj G, Khorolragchaa A, Kim Y, Yang, D (2014). Spermidine alleviates the growth of saline-stressed ginseng seedlings through antioxidative defense system. Gene 537(1):70-78.


Paul S, Roychoudhury A, Banerjee A, Chaudhuri N, Ghosh P (2017). Seed pre-treatment with spermidine alleviates oxidative damages to different extent in the salt (NaCl)-stressed seedlings of three indica rice cultivars with contrasting level of salt tolerance. Plant Gene 11:112-123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plgene.2017.04.002

Paul S, Roychoudhury A (2017). Seed priming with spermine and spermidine regulates the expression of diverse groups of abiotic stress-responsive genes during salinity stress in the seedlings of indica rice varieties. Plant Gene 11:124-132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plgene.2017.04.004

Puyang X, An M, Han L, Zhang X (2015). Protective effect of spermidine on salt stress induced oxidative damage in two Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) cultivars. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 117:96-106.


Roychoudhury A, Basu S, Sengupta DN (2011). Amelioration of salinity stress by exogenously applied spermidine or spermine in three varieties of indica rice differing in their level of salt tolerance. Journal of Plant Physiology 168:317-328. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jplph.2010.07.009

Salah SM, Yajing G, Dongdong C, Jie L, Aamir N, Qijuan H, … Jin H (2015). Seed priming with polyethylene glycol regulating the physiological and molecular mechanism in rice (Oryza sativa L.) under nano-ZnO stress. Scientific Reports 30:14278. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep14278v

Sofo A, Scopa A, Nuzzaci M, Vitti A (2015). Ascorbate peroxidase and catalase activities and their genetic regulation in plants subjected to drought and salinity stresses. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 16(6):13561-13578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160613561

Theerakulpisut P, Kanawapee N, Panwong B (2016). Seed priming alleviated salt stress effects on rice seedlings by improving Na+/K+ and maintaining membrane integrity. International Journal of Plant Biology 7(6402):53-58.


Wu W, Zhang Q, Ervin EH, Yang Z, Zhang X (2017). Physiological mechanism of enhancing salt stress tolerance of perennial ryegrass by 24-Epibrassinolide. Frontiers in Plant Science 8:1017.


You J, Chan Z (2015). ROS regulation during abiotic stress responses in crop plants. Frontiers in Plant Science 6:1092.


Zhang N, Shi X, Guan Z, Zhao S, Zhang F, Chen S, … Chen F (2016). Treatment with spermidine protects chrysanthemum seedlings against salinity stress damage. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 105:260-270.


How to Cite
THEERAKULPISUT, P., NOUNJAN, N., & KUMON-SA, N. (2021). Spermidine priming promotes germination of deteriorated seeds and reduced salt stressed damage in rice seedlings . Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 49(1), 12130. https://doi.org/10.15835/nbha49112130
Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha49112130

Most read articles by the same author(s)