Oxidative Stress, Ageing and Methods of Seed Invigoration: An Overview and Perspectives
Sershen, V B
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The maintenance of seed quality during the long-term conservation of plant genetic resources is crucial for averting the projected food crises that are linked to the changing climate and rising world population. However, ageing-induced loss of seed vigour and viability during storage remains an inevitable process that compromises productivity in several orthodox-seeded crop species. Seed ageing under prolonged storage, which can occur even under optimal conditions, induces several modifications capable of causing loss of intrinsic physiological quality traits, including germination capacity and vigour, and stand establishment. The problems posed by seed ageing have motivated the development of various techniques for mitigating their detrimental effects. These invigoration techniques generally fall within one of two categories: (1) priming or pre-hydrating seeds in a solution for improved post-harvest performance, or (2) post-storage reinvigoration which often involves soaking seeds recovered from storage in a solution. Seed priming methods are generally divided into classical (hydropriming, osmopriming, redox priming, biostimulant priming, etc.) and advanced (nanopriming, magnetopriming and priming using other physical agents) techniques. With the increasing popularity of seed invigoration techniques to achieve the much-desired enhanced productivity and resilience in the face of a changing climate, there is an urgent need to explore these techniques effectively (in addition to other important practices such as plant breeding, fertilizer application, and the control of pests and diseases). This review aims to provide an overview of ageing in orthodox seeds and invigoration techniques that can enhance desirable agronomic and physiological characters.