588 Moisture Balance in Dry-heat-treated Vegetable Seeds

in HortScience
Authors:
Jung-Myung LeeDept. of Horticulture, Kyung Hee Univ., Suwon, Republic of Korea 449-701

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Du-Hyun Kim
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Dry-heat (DH) treatment has been extensively used for inactivation of some seed-borne virus and Fusarium disease in many vegetable crops, especially in cucurbitaceous vegetables. Strains of tobamovirus (cucumber green mottle mosaic virus; CGMMV) could be successfully inactivated by treating the infected seeds at 75 °C for 72 h. However, DH-treated seeds frequently exhibit slow and poor germination and abnormal seedling characteristics, such as distorted, white streaked, and punctured cotyledons in the seedlings. The moisture content in seed coat and inner cotyledons fell down to below 1% in DH-treated seeds when treated at 75 °C or higher. However, when the seeds were treated at 65 °C, final moisture content in the DH-treated seeds were maintained at about 2.5% to 3.5%. Seeds absorbed moisture above 20% at 100% RH, 9% to 10% at 73% RH, and 4% to 5% at 28% RH, respectively. When the intact and DH-treated seeds were exposed to conditions of varying relative humidity, DH-treated seeds absorbed atmospheric moisture at a much slower rate than the intact seeds in all tested cultivars, and this is thought to be one of the major reasons for slower germination in DH-treated seeds. The inactivation of virus, comparison of respiration of seeds, and endogenous gibberellic acid contents will also be presented.

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