Exploring the role of calcium to improve chilling tolerance in hybrid maize

M. Farooq*, T. Aziz, S. M.A. Basra, A. Wahid, A. Khaliq, M. A. Cheema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Abiotic stresses, including chilling, impede the plant growth and development mainly by oxidative damage. In this study, seed priming with CaCl2 was employed to reduce the damage caused by chilling stress in hybrid maize. Maize hybrid (Hycorn 8288) seeds were soaked in 50, 100 and 150 mg l-1 (ppm) aerated solution of CaCl2 for 24 h and dried. Treated and untreated seeds were sown at 27°C (optimal temperature) and 15°C (chilling stress) under controlled conditions. Seed priming with CaCl2 significantly reduced the chilling damage and improved the germination rate, root and shoot length, and seedling fresh and dry weights. Activities of antioxidants, including catalase, superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase, were also improved. Soluble sugars and α-amylase concentrations determined as general metabolic indicators of stress were also increased by seed priming with CaCl2. Priming also improved the performance of maize at optimal temperature. Maintenance of tissue water contents, reduction in membrane leakage and increase in antioxidant activities, and carbohydrate metabolism seemed to induce chilling tolerance by CaCl 2. Seed priming with 100 mg l-1 CaCl2 was the optimal concentration in improving the performance of hybrid maize both under optimal and stress conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-359
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agronomy and Crop Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidants
  • Ca
  • Chilling stress
  • Maize
  • Seedling growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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