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Abstract

The water-soaked seeds of sunflower were exposed to low power continuous wave He-Ne laser irradiation of energies 0, 100, 300 and 500 mJ to evaluate the effect on various biochemical, physiological, growth and yield parameters of sunflower. The experiments which consisted of four replicates arranged in a completely randomized design (CRD) were carried out under the greenhouse conditions. The physiological attributes like, photosynthetic rate (A), transpiration rate (E), intrinsic CO2 concentration (Ci), stomatal conductance (gs), chlorophyll a and b contents, relative membrane permeability and leaf water (ψw), osmotic (ψs) and turgor (ψp) potentials, relative water contents and leaf area increased significantly as compared to control due to He-Ne treatment of seeds. The activities of superoxide dismutase, peroxidase and catalases and contents of total soluble proteins, malondialdehyde, proline and leaf total phenolic also increased due to laser treatment. Significant increase in growth parameters of sunflower like shoot fresh and dry masses, root fresh and dry masses, root and shoot lengths, number of leaves per plant and stem diameter has also been observed. The contents of K, Ca and Mg in shoot and root were also increased and an overall increase of up to 28.12%% was observed due to laser treatment.