Influence of Cold Water Priming on Spinach Seed Performance

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Six experiments were conducted to determine the effect of priming on spinach seed performance. Performance was determined by percent, uniformity, and speed of germination after 10 days. In Expt. 1, performance at 22 °C was improved for primed seeds compared to unprimed seeds and germination was >90% for both primed and unprimed seeds. In Expt. 2 (incubator @ 40 °C for 16 h/30 °C for 8 h), germination was reduced for both seed treatments and primed seeds had more germination, but less uniformity than unprimed seeds. In Expt. 3 (incubator @ 40 °C for 16 h/30 °C for 8 h), initial temperatures were 40 °C for 16 h, 40 °C for 8 h, or 30 °C for 8 h. There was an interaction between priming and initial temperature for percent germination, indicating that only primed seeds varied in response to initial temperature. Priming improved percent germination but reduced uniformity and did not influence speed of germination. In Expt. 4 (growth chamber @ 40 °C for 16 h/30 °C for 8 h), priming significantly improved percent seedling emergence and speed compared to unprimed seeds but did not influence uniformity. In Expt. 5 (growth chamber @ 40 °C for 16 h/30 °C for 8 h) initial temperatures were 40 °C for 16 h, 40 °C for 8 h, or 30 °C for 8 h. Priming significantly improved seedling emergence and speed and did not affect uniformity of emergence. Seedling emergence was significantly improved for seeds planted at an initial temperature of 40 °C compared to 30 °C.

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