299 ELECTROLYTE LEAKAGE FROM INDIVIDUAL MAIZE AND WHEAT SEEDS TO PREDICT GERMINATION PERCENTAGE AND RADICLE LENGTH

in HortScience

Multiple electroconductivity readings (μAmps) of leachates from individual seeds during the first 6 hr of imbibition was examined as a possible predictor of seed quality. Readings from each sample of 100 seeds were formed into frequency distributions and the mean, median. and internal slope were calculated using an automated computer retrieval system. Internal slope is a non-central tendency measure based on the slope of a line tangent to the inflection point of the S-shaped cumulative frequency distribution (CFD) of μAmps. Radicle lengths (3 days) and germination (7 days) percentages were regressed on each of the two measures of central tendency and also the CFD shape indicator, internal slope. None of the three predictors were satisfactory for estimating seed vigor (root lengths) of maize (Zea mays L.) or wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) or germination of wheat seed lots. Internal slope was useful in estimating viability of artificially aged maize seeds (r2= 0.91), which compared favorably with our previous results using naturally aged red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) seed lots. Overall the seed quality of the unaged wheat lots was fairly high and the electrolyte leakage test was not sensitive enough to detect differences within these lots.

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