Abiotic stress is a major threat to the farming community, biasing the crop productivity in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. The seed is an important component of agriculture, contributing significantly to the booming production of food and feed crops across the different agro-ecological regions of the world with constant challenges with reference to production, storage, and quality control. Germination, plant growth, and development via non-normal physiological processes are detrimentally affected by stress. Seed priming is an alternative, low cost, and feasible technique, which can improve various abiotic stress tolerances through enhanced and advanced seed production. Seed priming is a process that involves imbibing seed with a restricted amount of water to allow sufficient hydration and advancement of metabolic processes but preventing germination. The beneficial influence of priming on the germination performance of diverse species is attributed to the induction of biochemical mechanisms of cell repair: the resumption of metabolic activity that can re-impose cellular integrity, through the synthesis of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and proteins and the improvement of the antioxidant defense system metabolic damage incurred by dry seed and thus fortifying the metabolic machinery of the seed. With this background, this chapter highlights the morphological, physiological, biochemical, and molecular responses of seed priming and recent advances in priming methods as a tool to combat abiotic stress in crop plants.
Part of the book: Plant Stress Physiology
A species is considered to be invasive if it establishes, persists, and spreads widely inside a natural ecosystem, stunting the growth of native plants and giving them room to overtake crops and native plants. Non-native plant species that have been brought into a new geographic area and have a negative effect on the ecosystems supporting horticulture and agriculture are known as invasive plant species. Invasive/noxious weeds, which are widely distributed in many types of ecosystems, significantly reduce crop production. Compared to native species, invading plant species have a higher potential to move their niche more rapidly and are more likely to adapt to new environments. The timing, speed, and longevity of seed germination have indeed been discovered to change as a result of climate change, which has consequences for plant invasions. More than native plant species, invasive plant species gain from atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment, greenhouse gas emissions, and global warming. A loss of native biodiversity due to invasive species includes species extinction, changes in hydrology, and altered ecosystem function.
Part of the book: Resource Management in Agroecosystems