Comparison of Seed-quality Indices Resulting from Single-seed Electroconductivity Measurements

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523
  • 2 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Seed Storage Laboratory, 1111 South Mason Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521-4500
  • 3 Department of Horticulture, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523
  • 4 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Seed Storage Laboratory, 1111 South Mason Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521-4500

Five seed-quality indices based on individual seed electrolyte leakage tests were evaluated. Zea mays L. seeds were soaked for 6 hours, and individual seed leachate conductivity values were obtained. A total of 100 cells were scanned, one seed per cell, at 5-minute intervals for the first 30 minutes, followed by 15-minute intervals for the remaining 330 minutes. Seeds were allowed to dry for 5 to 7 days at room temperature and then were tested for germinability at 25C for 7 days. Radicle lengths were measured after 72 hours. The Richards function was fitted to cumulative frequency distributions of μAmps to obtain internal slope (IS), mean μAmp, and median μAmp values for each scan. Initial leach rate (ILR) was estimated after fitting hyperbolic functions to μAmp vs. soak time data. Average leach rate (ALR) was also derived from fitting the Richards function to μAmp vs. soak time data. Linear regression of seed quality on IS, mean, and median μAmp values after 5 hours of imbibition yielded r2 values of 0.91, 0.81, and 0.86 for predicting viability and 0.56, 0.46, 0.52 for predicting radicle length. Thus, IS was the best seed quality predictor, followed closely by median and mean μAmp values. ILR and ALR were not correlated with seed quality.

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