Thermotolerance in Lettuce

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  • 1 Horticultural Sciences Dept., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Lettuce seeds differentially fail to germinate at temperatures above 21C according to genotype. Twenty-one lettuce lines were screened for their ability to germinate at temperatures from 24C to 36C. Four cultivars, `Dark Green Boston', `Valmaine', `Floricos 83', and `PI251245', were selected for this study because of their range of ability to germinate at temperatures above 24C. Seeds of the four cultivars were collected from mother plants grown in growth chambers at 20/10C(day/night temperature), 25/15C, 30/20C and 35/25C. Seeds were germinated on a thermogradient table from 24C to 36C under light (12 h). Seeds from `Floricos 83' produced above 30C had higher germination percentage at 33C and 36C than those produced below 30C temperatures. At 30C germination temperature seeds of `Valmaine' produced above 30C had 98% germination compared to 45% of those produced below 30C. `Dark Green Boston' seeds produced at 35C had higher germination percentage(70%) at 30C than those produced at other temperatures. Seeds collected from the mother plant grown above 30C day temperatures had greater germination than those grown below 30C.

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