Seed Priming-Induced Early Vigor in Crops: An Alternate Strategy for Abiotic Stress Tolerance

  • Meenakshi Thakur
  • Poornima Sharma
  • Anjali Anand


Plants experience various stresses during the course of their growth and development. Seed priming involves the induction of a particular physiological stage of growth in the seed, prior to germination, using different approaches like hydro-, osmo-, chemical, hormonal, biological, matrix, and magnetopriming. Seed priming-induced early vigor in crops reduces time of seed emergence, accomplishes uniform emergence, and gives a better crop stand. Hence, seed priming is a smart, potent, and feasible alternative that facilitates plant protection against various stress conditions during seedling establishment. Primed seeds imbibe water rapidly and revive the seed metabolism through repair and buildup of nucleic acids and proteins. Various signaling pathways activate in the early stages of seedling growth resulting in faster plant defense responses. It leads to the accumulation of inactive signaling molecules in primed cells which, upon later subjection to stress condition, lead to hyper-activation of the signaling proteins, thereby amplifying signal transduction, thus guiding toward more rapid and/or more intense activation of defense responses. It imparts “stress memory” that activates stress-responsive system in primed seeds, equipping them to be defensive to later stress exposure. The activities of antioxidative enzymes and synthesis of metabolites such as proline and malondialdehyde under various stress conditions are also enhanced in response to priming. The molecular changes during stress in primed seeds include cell division and elongation, plasma membrane fluidity, induction of stress-responsive proteins (heat-shock proteins and late embryogenesis abundant proteins), and changes in transcriptome and proteome. All these changes lead to enhanced and synchronized seed germination, early vigor, and improved plant growth, biomass, plant height, leaf area, root-shoot length, dry weight, and yield. In this chapter, we will discuss the physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms of seed priming under various abiotic stress conditions.


Antioxidant Drought Germination Priming ROS Priming Seed metabolism Salinity Temperature stress Vigor 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meenakshi Thakur
    • 1
  • Poornima Sharma
    • 2
  • Anjali Anand
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Horticulture and Forestry, Neri, Hamirpur, Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and ForestryNauni, SolanIndia
  2. 2.Division of Plant PhysiologyICAR-Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia

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