Presoaking Seeds with Vinegar Improves Seed Development and Drought Tolerance in Maize Plants

(1) Half Hollow Hills High School East, Dix Hills, NY

Climate change continues to contribute to severe drought conditions and threatens the food security of many developing countries. Maize is a very important source of food for developing nations. Climate change has contributed to the increasing annual temperatures around the world and poses a grave threat to Maize crops. Novel methods to help farmers combat drought conditions are urgently needed. Two methods proven to help combat plant drought stress effects are presoaking seeds (seeds are soaked in a liquid before planting) and the application of Acetic Acid (vinegar) to soil. The purpose of this experiment was to explore if combining these two methods by presoaking seeds with a vinegar solution can improve the seed development and plant drought tolerance of Maize plants during drought conditions. Three groups of seeds were created; Group 1 control (no presoaking), Group 2 (presoaking with water), and Group 3 (presoaking with vinegar solution). Seed development was determined by measuring the percent of seed germination and the rate of cotyledon emergence. Plant viability was measured by counting the number of viable plants and measuring final plant height. Our results revealed that presoaking Maize seeds with a vinegar solution (Group 3) was superior in terms of improving seed development and plant drought tolerance when exposed to drought conditions. We conclude that presoaking with a vinegar solution may offer a simple and inexpensive method of improving drought tolerance in Maize seeds and plants.

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This article has been tagged with:

crops climate change drought food insecurity plants seeds acetic acid
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