Following a controlled deterioration treatment, pea seeds were subjected to priming treatments at 16 degrees C with PEG-8000 (-0.25, -0.50 and -0.75 MPa), ABA (10-3 M and 10-4 M) and distilled water (H2O) for 2, 4 and 6 days. Priming treatments increased the germination percentage and decreased the mean germination time (MGT) in pea seeds. Furthermore, cytological examinations showed that chromosomal aberrations decreased during first mitotic divisions, due to induction of DNA repair mechanism with priming treatments. Most of the benefits of priming treatments occurred during the first 2 days. However, the maximum benefit was obtained from 4 day treatment with H2O. The results of priming treatments show that the critical moisture content that facilitates repair of chromosomal damage is between 34 and 38%. Priming technique is recommended as a general practice in gene banks since it is an economical treatment in terms of time and expenses.