Does Salt Help Seed Germination?


Salinity has an effect on almost all the aspects of plant development which includes – germination, vegetative growth and even reproductive development. Salt stress affects many physiological facets of the growth of plants. Seed germination is affected by salinity which creates osmotic potential preventing the uptake of water or induces toxic effects of ions on the viability of embryos. Due to the inhibitory action of salt on the division and growth of cells, the growth of shoot structures is affected.

With the increase in salt concentration, the rate of germination of seeds decreases. When soil is enriched with saltwater, roots absorb and treat them as normal water. But, in the case of salt water, it does not permit osmosis through tissues of plants. The solution is so concentrated and dense, that saltwater withdraws from the plant. It leaves the plant dehydrated and kills it eventually.

A high concentration of salt in the soil solution decreases the ability of plants to obtain water. This is called the osmotic or the water-deficit effect of salinity.

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