Glycinebetaine improves chilling tolerance in hybrid maize

M. Farooq*, T. Aziz, M. Hussain, H. Rehman, K. Jabran, M. B. Khan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


Plant growth and development is hampered by various environmental stresses including chilling. We investigated the possibility of improving chilling tolerance in hybrid maize by glycinebetaine (GB) seed treatments. Maize hybrid (Hycorn 8288) seeds were soaked in 50, 100 and 150 mg l-1 (p.p.m.) aerated solution of GB for 24 h and were dried back. Treated and untreated seeds were sown at 27 °C (optimal temperature) and at 15 °C (chilling stress) under controlled conditions. Germination and seedling growth was significantly hindered under chilling stress. Moreover, chilling stress significantly reduced the starch metabolism and relative water contents (RWC), and increased the membrane electrolyte leakage. However, activities of antioxidants (catalase, superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase) were increased under stress conditions. Seed treatments with GB improved the germination rate, root and shoot length, seedling fresh and dry weights, leaf and root scores, RWC, soluble sugars, α-amylase activity and antioxidants significantly compared with untreated seeds under optimal and stress conditions. Induction of chilling tolerance was attributed to maintenance of high tissue water contents, reduced membrane electrolyte leakage, and higher antioxidant activities and carbohydrate metabolism. Seed treatment with 100 mg l-1 GB was the best treatment for improving the performance of hybrid maize under normal and stress conditions compared with control and other levels used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-160
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agronomy and Crop Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidants
  • Chilling stress
  • Glycinebetaine
  • Maize
  • Seed priming
  • Seedling growth
  • Starch metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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