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Sugar beet quantitative and qualitative yield related traits as affected by different seed priming treatments.


Sugar beet is one of the most important industrial and main sugar crops in the world. In this study in order to assessment the effect of cultivar factor and different priming methods on quantitative and qualitative yield related traits of sugar beet an experiment was carried out as factorial based on RCB design with three replications in two crop seasons (2014-2015). The cultivar and priming factors were considered in two (Ekbatan and 7233) and five levels (including hardening, priming with nano and pigeon manure, hydropriming and no-priming), respectively. Root yield, plant number, sugar content, K, Na, N, alkalinity, sugar yield, raw juice purity, molasses sugar and dray matter traits were measured and assessed. ANOVA results indicated non-significant interaction of cultivarxpriming over two crop years. Furthermore, the results showed the significant effect of the cultivar factor on molasses sugar and dry matter traits and root yield, plant number, sugar content and yield; molasses sugar, dry matter and alkalinity coefficient traits were affected by priming factor. Among the various priming methods, hydropriming seems promising effects on seedling establishment, growth and development and ultimately root and sugar yield. Despite the relative superiority of Ekbatan than 7233 cultivars in terms of root and sugar yield traits, the mean comparison results showed no significant difference between these cultivars. Also, the overall obtained results over two crop years indicated the effect of the year factors on results that could be indicating interaction between year and assayed factors.


Seed priming, Sugar beet, Yield.


Sugar beet (Betavulgaris L.), as one of the species belongs toChenopodiaceae family, is an important industrial and main sugar crop thatsupplies approximately 35% of the sugar in the world. Sugar beet was introduced to China from Arabia about 1,500 years ago, and it is a dicotyledonous plant with high economic value in many countries [24]. Annually, 97,100 and 31113 ha of sugar beet is grown in Iran and West Azabayjan Province, respectively [1].

Sugar beet seed germination and seedling emergence as complex physiological processes are often slow and non-uniform, that are actually affected bydifferent environmental signals such as temperature, water potential, light, nitrates and other factors. The adverse environmental conditions are for germination and seedling emergence in arid and semiarid regions such as Iran of the main causes of poor seedling emergence and establishment[13]. In a such regions, drought and water deficit known as one of the most limiting factors that reduced significantly seed germination and establishment of seedling [7,9,23]. To overcome such problem, it had been proposed various methods that can be used to achieve the same goal of increasing seed yield and yield. Seed treatment is one of the most common and efficient methods that used seed pre-planting treatment, which is called priming[13]. Priming consists in wetting seeds to the moisture level that enables early processes leading to germination but is too low for radicles to emerge.

In the last years, seed companies have encouraged researchers to develop new, effective technologies of seed quality improvement, especially seed priming. Among the other used methods, seed priming is relatively a simple, low-cost and low-risk technology that hastens germination and seedling emergence, and promotes vigorous early growth[14]. Different priming methods such as osmopriming (soaking seed in osmotic solutions such as polyethylene glycol [PEG]), halopriming (soaking seed in salt solutions), hydropriming (soaking seed in water), matric priming (treating seed with a solid matrix), thermopriming (treating seed with low or high temperatures) and priming with plant growth hormones [5,14] are available.

Positive effects of seed priming in many previous studies have been completely explained in different crops, e.g. corn [2], sunflower [12], soybean [4], sorghum [19] and some of the medicinal plants [22]. Anincrease in germination with priming technique application can bedue to various factors such as the initiation of metabolic processes, prevention ofchromosomal damage and induction of nuclear DNA synthesis in radicle tip cells[5].

Since, the majority of sugar beet seeds used commercially are monogerm, therefore, uniformity of germination and establishment is an important goal for sugar beetproduction.Also, despitecommercial application of different seed priming methods, there is still little information about the causes of obtained effects. Moreover, a high diversity of treated seed properties is still a problem, and it implicates the effectiveness of applied technologies. Thus, the main objective of this studywas to determine the effects of different priming methods on some of the quantitative and qualitative yield related traits of two different sugar beet cultivars.


In order to study different seed priming methods on sugar beet quantitative and qualitative yield, a factorial experiment was conducted on the basis of RCB design with three replications at Agricultural Research Stations of Saatlu, West Azarbayjan province, Iran in 2014-2015. This research station is located in a latitude of 36[degrees] 58' N, longitude of 46[degrees] 3' E and altitude of 1300m. The 30-year average temperature and annual rainfall of the location was 13.5 [degrees]C and 243 mm, respectively and the soil of the field was clay-loam (Table 1). Experiment'sfactors, including cultivar (two levels: Ekbatan and 7233) and five levels of pre-planting treatment'sfactor, including: hardening, priming with nano (Table 2) and pigeon (Table 3) manure, hydropriming and no-priming. After priming, seeds were washed three times with distilled water and redried to original weight.

Seedbed preparation practices such as plowing, disking and leveling were uniformly applied. Potassium and phosphorous fertilizers were applied at the time of seedbed preparation and nitrogen fertilizer was applied as top dressing, and within the row, spacing was 50 and 15 cm, respectively. Each plot consisted of three rows of 8m length. Cultural practices, including irrigation and control of diseases and pests were applied when needed.

Harvest was done early November. The roots harvested were washed, weighed and used to take brie (pulp) samples. The brie samples were then immediately frozen and sent to the Sugar Beet Technology Lab of Sugar Beet Seed Institute, Karaj, Iran, for determination of root-related traits such as root yield (RY) (t.[ha.sup.-1]), sugar content (SC) (gr sugar/100 gr beet), Sugar yield (SY) (t.ha-1), sodium (Na) (meq/100 gr beet), potassium (K) (meq/100 gr beet), amino nitrogen (N) (meq/100 gr beet) and alkalinity (Alk) (% in beet). Sugar content (SC) (gr sugar/100 gr beet) was measured by the polarimetric method, Na and K by flame photometry and N by blue number method. Furthermore, molasses sugar (MS) (gr sugar/100 gr beet) was estimated by using the formula of Reinfeld et al. [20].

Before data analysis, normality test was done and then the analysis of variance for the traits was conducted, and Duncan's multiple range test was used to comparison the means. The SAS and Excel software were used inthe statistical analysis.


The analysis of variance results showed that non-significant interaction between cultivar and priming methods based on first crop season data, indicating the lack of priming methods to influence from cultivar type (Table 4). Moreover, the ANOVA results showed that the effect of seed priming treatment on root yield (RY), sugar content (SC) and sugar yield (SY) traits at 0.01 probability level (p[less than or equal to]0.01) and molasses sugar (MS) trait at p[less than or equal to]0.05, and other traits were not affected by studied factors. The effect of cultivar was significant on molasses sugar (MS) (p[less than or equal to]0.05), thus, cultivars (Ekbatan and 7233) differed significantly at 5% probability level (p[less than or equal to]0.01) forthe mentioned traits (MS).Therefore, due to the non-significant cultivarxpriming interaction, the simple effects of two cultivar and priming factors were compared separately based on Duncan's multiple range tests (Table 5).

The comparing of different seed pre-treatment (priming) methods for the root yield traits showed that the highest (75.33 t.[ha.sup.-1]) and lowest (40 t.[ha.sup.-1]) root yield were belonged to hydropriming and non-priming treatment, respectively, that difference between of them (hyropriming and non-priming methods) was significant, statistically and situated on different statistical groups (Table 5) based on the root yield traits.It seems that seed washing with water (hydropriming) causes to scavenger the different germination inhibitory compounds in the seed coat. So, with the removal of the negative effects of these compounds during the process of germination, the primed seeds germinate faster in field condition andby utilizing favorable light conditions, the canopy level spread much more quickly and uniformly [17].

Harris et al.[11]demonstrated that germination is an important stage of seedling establishment, and therefore, it plays a key role in cropproduction. Since primed seed germinated and emerges faster than non-primed one, thus it could be considered as one of the most effective and affordable seed pre-treatment methods[17]. Furthermore, based on the obtained results, the root yield of Ekbatan (58.07 t.[ha.sup.-1]) was about 4% higher than 7233 (55.93 t.[ha.sup.-1]) cultivar.Although this superiority did not lead to the significant differences between of two mentioned cultivars, but this result could be indicating more genetically potency of Ekbatan cultivar.

The means comparison results showed that maximum (70.83 per [m.sup.2]) and minimum (45.17 per [m.sup.2]) plant number were belonged to hydropriming and non-priming pre-treatments, respectively and showed the significant difference, statistically. However, this trait was not significantly affected by others used priming methods(Table 5).A significant increase in seedling's establishment and plant number per [m.sup.2]maybe because seed priming stimulates an array of biochemical changes such as hydrolysis, activation of enzymes and dormancy breaking in the seed [6,8,18], which are requisite for initiate the germination process. Achieved results indicated the significant effect of used seed pre-treatments on the sugar content (SC) traits, whichhydropriming was led to an increase about 19% of this trait than non-priming treatment (Table 5).Likewise, seed priming treatments significantly enhanced the sugar yield (SY). Maximum sugar yield value was recorded in hydropriming (13.08 t.[ha.sup.-1]) followed by priming with nano (12.79 t.[ha.sup.-1]) and pigeon manure (12.49 t.[ha.sup.-1]) and hardening (12.05 t.[ha.sup.-1]), which have significant difference from non-priming treatment (10.512. t.[ha.sup.-1]), so pre-treatments were led to an increase about 24.57, 21.81, 18.95 and 14.76% than non-primed seed, respectively (Table 5). In sugar beet as many other crop species, seed germination and early seedling growth are the most sensitive stages. Thus seed priming pre-sowing could dramatically enhance germination-related events, leading to increase in plant growth and final root and sugar yield[1]. It supports that priming caused more rapid water uptake than control. Rouhiet al. [21] showed that, produced plant from primed seeds of soybean possess better emergence rate as well as better yield in comparison with control group seeds. They showed that, priming can increase germination-related traits via changing the enzymes of sucrose metabolism. In addition, in pigeon pea (Cajanuscajan L.), hydropriming was determined to be very effective in the mobilization of compounds such as proteins, free amino acids, and soluble sugars from storage organs to growing embryonic tissues under salt stress [16].

Furthermore, the results showed that sugar yield trait was not affected by cultivar type and based on mean comparison results, two studied cultivars (Ekbatan and 7233) were situated in the same statistical group. Likewise, mean comparison results based on Duncan's test showed that significant effect of priming factor on the molasses sugar (MS) traits, so, the nano-priming has more effect on this trait than others used priming treatments. Although, the difference between of this treatment was not significant, statistically, with other treatment's ones (Table 5).

The effect of different seed priming levels on the dry matter (DM) traits was significant at 0.05 probability level (p[less than or equal to]0.05) (Table 5). In general, the pre-sowing treatments cause initiation of the early metabolic processes and the re-drying of seed's arrest, but do not reverse, the initial stages of germination so that on the availability of suitable conditions, the time taken to germinate is reduced [15].

Furthermore, in order to validation of obtained results, the experiment was repeated and carried out in second crop season (2015). According to results of analysis of variance, interaction effect of cultivar and priming treatments on studied traits were not significant as well as achieved results from first crop season. The results showed that potassium (K) traitwas significantly (p[less than or equal to]0.05) affected by cultivar type and difference between of cultivars was not significant based on other assessed traits. Also, the seed priming factor had a significant effect on root yield (RY) traits at p[less than or equal to]0.05 (Table 6), thus, the different levels of priming factor were compared based on Duncan's multiple range tests.The levels mean comparison results indicated that highest (67.83 t.[ha.sup.-1]) root yield was achieved from hydropriming treatment application, and this treatment had a significant difference from other ones (Figure 1). Likewise, the alkalinity coefficient (Alk) that indicating syrup alkalinity and is important in terms of syrup buffering capacity and C[O.sub.2] absorption[10], was affected by priming factor at p[less than or equal to]0.01 (Figure 2). Additionally, the overall results obtained from two years showed the significant effect of the year factor, that indicating year and assessed factors interaction is more likely.
Fig. 1: The effect of different seed priming methods on sugar beet
root yield.

Hardening      b
Nano-priming   b
Hydro-priming  a
Pigeon-manure  b
Non-priming    b

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Fig. 2: The effect of different seed priming methods on sugar beet
root alkalinity coefficient.

Hardening      ab
Nano-priming   a
Hydro-priming  c
Pigeon-manure  bc
Non-priming    abc

Note: Table made from bar graph.


By observing the overall performance, it can be concluded from this study that priming of sugar beet seed was found to be the most effective, suitable and economical for raising sugar beet to meet the demands of farmers in different regions of the world. Among the various priming methods used in this study, hydropriming seems promising effects on seedling establishment, growth and development ultimately root and sugar yield. Furthermore, the better performance of sugar beet from primed seeds in this experiment is an illustrative for the necessity of priming seeds before sowing. Meanwhile, further study is also required and suggested toinvestigate the effects of seed priming on the other growth and yield aspects of sugar beet. Therefore, additional advanced research is needed to explore priming induced alteration of physiological and biochemical attributes both at seed and whole plant levels in sugar beet.


The authors gratefully acknowledge the Department of Agronomy, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran and also Sugar Beet Seed Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran for support in all matters related to equipment and experiments.


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(1,3) Adel Pedram, (2) Mehdi Tajbakhsh, (3) Dariush Fathollah Taleghani, (4) Mahdi Ghiyasi

(1) Ph.D student, Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran. (2,4) Prof, and Assistant Prof, respectively, Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran. (3) Sugar Beet Seed Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran.

Received 12 January 2016; Accepted 31 March 2017; Available online 15 April 2017

Address For Correspondence:

Mehdi Tajbakhsh, Prof. and Assistant Prof, respectively, Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.


Copyright [c] 2017 by authors and American-Eurasian Network for Scientific Information.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).
Table 1: The results of soil test.

Sampling depth  EC (ds/m)  pH   Saturation  Clay (%)  Silt (%)

0-30             1.41       8.1  41.0         41.0      42.0
30-60            2.4        8.3  43.4         48.0      43

Sampling depth  Sand (%)  Soil texture  P    K

0-30            13.0      Loamy clay    7.8  229
30-60           15.0      Loamy clay    6.5  189

Table 2: The properties of used complete nano-manure.

Elements  P (%) N (%)  K (%)  Mg (%)  Mn (%)  Fe (%)  Cu (%)

Amount    4.0 5.0      2.0    1.0     2.0     4.0     5.0

Elements  Zn (%)  Mo (%)  Mo (%)

Amount    5.0     0.06    0.04

Table 3: The properties of used Pigeon manure.

Elements  P (%)  N (%)   K (%)   Mg (%)  Na (%)  S (%)  Ca (%)

Amount    2.2    3.73     1.73   0.93    0.33    0.59   6.97

Elements  Zn (%)  pH

Amount    485.2   7.2

Table 4: The ANOVA results in the first crop year.

S.O. V
              DF      RY           PN           SC          Na

Rep.           2     234.7       865.03        32.5         0.32
Cultivar       1      34.1 (ns)     4.8 (ns)    1.98 (ns)   0.33 (ns)
Priming        4    1012.2 (**)   569.6 (**)    8.86 (**)   0.38 (ns)
Cul. x Prim.   4      23.4 (ns)     9.55 (ns)   0.29 (ns)   0.02 (ns)
Error         18      49.33        89.2         1.30        0.26
CV(%)         -       12.3         16.3         7.1        38.8

S.O. V
                 K       N           Alk         SY          RJP

Rep.            2.15    1.23        35.5         3.7         240.9
Cultivar        (ns)    0.03 (ns)    0.10 (ns)   0.07 (ns)   134.2 (ns)
Priming         (ns)    0.09 (ns)    2.8 (ns)    6.16 (**)    61.7 (ns)
Cul. x Prim.    (ns)    0.050 (ns)   0.90 (ns)   0.68 (ns)     7.6 (ns)
Error           0.59    0.053        1.39        0.99         28.6
CV(%)          18.3    23.8         17.6         8.2           6.6

S.O. V                        MS
                  MS          DM

Rep.             0.07        43.7
Cultivar         1.14 (**)   12.6 (*)
Priming          0.46 (*)     6.7 (*)
Cul. x Prim.     0.07 (ns)    0.70 (ns)
Error            0.15         2.36
CV(%)           21.8          6.6

(ns), (*) and (**): Non-significant and significant at
p[less than or equal to]0.05 and p[less than or equal to]0.01,
RY: Root yield; PN: Plant number; SC: Sugar content; Alk: Alkalinity;
SY: Sugar yield; RJP: Raw juice purity; MS: Molasses sugar and DM:
Dry matter.

Table 5: Mean comparison results of different levels of priming factor
based on Duncan method.

Factor                   RY           PN           SC

         Hardening       55.83 (bc)   60.33 (ab)   16.3 (ab)   a
         Nano-priming    61.83 (b)    61.0 (ab)    16.12 (b)   a
priming  Hydro-priming   75.33 (a)    70.83 (a)    17.63 (a)   a
         Pigeon manure   52.0 (c)     52.0 (bc)    15.79 (b)   a
         Non-priming     40 (d)       45.17 (c)    14.24 (c)   b

Factor   SY         MS          DM

         12.05      1.98 (ab)   24.40 (a)
         12.79      2.11 (a)    24.28 (a)
priming  13.08  c   1.71 (ab)   23.58 (ab)
         12.49      1.55 (bc)   22.56 (ab)
         10.50      1.46 (c)    22.0 (b)

Similar letters indicating non-significant difference between means.
RY: Root yield; PN: Plant number; SC: Sugar content; SY: Sugar yield;
MS: Molasses sugar and DM: Dry matter.

Table 6: The ANOVA results in the second crop year.

S.O.V       DF
                   RY          PN          SC           Na

Rep.         2     88.03      188.4        0.07         0.004
Cultivar     1    224.1 (ns)  177.6 (ns)   0.001 (ns)   0.02 (ns)
Priming      4    249.3 (*)    22.8 (ns)   0.24 (ns)    0.0059 (ns)
Cul.xPrim.   4     10.2 (ns)  161.4 (ns)   0.07 (ns)    0.0064 (ns)
Error       18     66.8        89.1        0.26         0.0057
CV(%)           1            1           2           7.8
                       4.4         6.2          .4
              K           N           Alk         SY         RJP

Rep.          0.03        0.22        0.08        0.07       0.08
Cultivar      0.25 (*)    0.001 (ns)  0.028 (ns)  0.03 (ns)  1.02 (ns)
Priming       0.04 (ns)   0.07 (ns)   0.036 (**)  0.30 (ns)  0.39 (ns)
Cul.xPrim.    0.01 (ns)   0.01 (ns)   0.014 (ns)  0.05 (ns)  0.04 (ns)
Error         0.05        0.05        0.008       0.35       0.54
CV(%)       5           7           5.          3          0
               .4          .7         1            .1         .8

S.O.V                       MS
               MS           DM

Rep.           0.003        0.86
Cultivar       0.048 (ns)   0.51 (ns)
Priming        0.01 (ns)    0.08 (ns)
Cul.xPrim.     0.003 (ns)   0.15 (ns)
Error          0.014        0.21
CV(%)       6             1
                .6           .5

(ns), (*)and (**): Non-significant and significant at
p[less than or equal to]0.05 and p[less than or equal to]0.01,
RY: Root yield; PN: Plant number; SC: Sugar content; Alk: Alkalinity;
SY: Sugar yield; RJP: Raw juice purity; MS: Molasses sugar and DM: Dry
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Author:Pedram, Adel; Tajbakhsh, Mehdi; Taleghani, Dariush Fathollah; Ghiyasi, Mahdi
Publication:American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Date:Jun 1, 2017
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