Effects of Humic Acid on the Germination Traits of Pumpkin Seeds under Cadmium Stress
The study tackled the effect of humic acid and cadmium concentrations on the pumpkin seed germination characteristics throughout were studied. Treatments were cadmium concentrations on three levels: 0, 100 and 200 ppm and humic acid concentration of 0, 100, 200, 300 and 400 mg lit-1. Results showed that interaction of humic acid and cadmium was not significant on germination traits, but there was a significant effect on seedling growth indexes. Radicle and plumule length increased by 86 and 192% in comparison with control, of the mixture of 200 ppm cadmium and 300 mg lit-1 of humic acid. Cadmium had stimulatory effect on radicle and cotyledon dry weight and the highest values obtained with 200 ppm in mixture with 200 mg lit-1 of humic acid. Also, maximum plumule dry weight was recorded in 200 ppm cadmium and 300 mg lit-1 of humic acid. The highest of indexes were observed of 200 ppm cadmium and 400 mg lit-1 humic acid. In conclusion, the humic acid had detoxifying effect on cadmium stress in the culture and responded antagonistically against cadmium, but it seems that these concentrations of cadmium are low for the pumpkin seed and can be increased in order to reach the toxicity level.
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