SEASON OF SEED DEVELOPMENT AFFECTS GERMINATION OF LETTUCE SEED WITH HIGH TEMPERATURE

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  • 1 Botany Department, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL 61920
  • | 2 Yuma Mesa Agricultural Center, University of Arizona, Somerton, AZ 85350

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seed germination is inhibited at temperature higher than 25-30C. The extent of this inhibition varies between seed lots. Our objective was to determine how the season during which seed develops affects the ability of seeds to germinate and establish a stand at high temperatures. Lettuce seed, `Empire', was produced during 2 summers and 2 winters (1988 and 1989) in Yuma, AZ. These seeds were germinated at 20, 25, 30 or 35C in petri dishes or in growth pouches to determine percent germination or root lengths, respectively. Electrical conductivity of seed leachates was measured. Field emergence of seeds was tested with early fall plantings in Yuma, AZ. Percent seed germination was greater and root lengths were longer for the seeds produced in summer than in winter. Conductivity will be correlated with relative tolerance to high temperatures of the different seed lots. In the field, percent emergence of seed lots from summer and winter averaged 60% and 38%, respectively.

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