Spinach (Spinacia oleracea, L. cv. `Ark88-354'. `Fall Green', `Cascade') seeds of varying sensitivities to high temperatures during imbibition and germination were subjected to constant 18, 30 and 36°C for 96 hours during imbibition. Those cultivars less sensitive to high temperatures (`Ark88-354' and `Fall Green') imbibed water more rapidly at higher temperatures and had greater initial levels of raffinose and sucrose than the sensitive cultivar `Cascade'. Glucose levels were initially zero in all cultivars and increased slightly with time. Germination was more rapid at 18°C and 30°C in `Ark88-354' and `Fall Green' than with `Cascade'; the latter also failed 10 germinate at the higher temperature. Raffinose and sucrose have been implicated in membrane stabilization during desiccation and extreme low temperatures. They may serve a similar role during imbibition and germination of spinach at high temperatures, reducing secondary thermodormancy.
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