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S.T. Kester, R.L. Geneve, and R.L. Houtz

Damage and degradation of cellular proteins is observed during seed deterioration due to aging. L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (EC 2.1.1.77) is an enzyme hypothesized to play a role in limiting and repairing aging-induced damage of proteins. Tomato seeds (Lycopersicon esculentum `New Yorker') were assayed for changes in L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase activity during accelerated aging and after osmotic priming. Accelerated aging of seeds for 1 to 4 days at 45°C and 100% humidity reduced germination from 94% to 71%, the mean time of germination (MTG) increased from 2.4 to 5.8 days and was accompanied by a correlative decrease in L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase activity R 2 = 0.90. Aged and untreated seeds were primed for 7 days at 20°C in darkness using aerated solutions of 3% KNO3 or polyethylene glycol 8000 (PEG) with equivalent osmotic potential (–1.25 MPa). Priming with KNO3 decreased the MTG but not germination percentage for untreated seeds. Priming did not affect L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase activity in untreated seeds but restored activity in aged seeds primed in KNO3 to levels near that of untreated seeds. Priming with PEG did not effectively improve the MTG or increase L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase activity. During germination, enzyme activity remained constant for 48 hours post-imbibition and then declined suggesting the enzyme was developmentally regulated and inactivated or degraded as radicle emergence occurred.

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Janusz Prusinski and Anwar A. Khan

Seeds (intact or slit) of lettuce (Luctuca sativa L.) cultivars with greater ability to produce ethylene germinated better under stressful conditions. Highly significant correlations were found between ethylene production and germination in 0.1 m NaCI (- 0.49 MPa) solution at 25C (r = 0.95, intact seeds), in - 0.3 MPa PEG solution (r = 0.86, intact seeds; r = 0.81, slit seeds), and in water at 32C (r = 0.80, slit seeds) or 35C (r = 0.80, slit seeds). Slitting the seed coat increased the ethylene production and improved germination during osmotic restraint in most cultivars, particularly in `Mesa 659' and `Super 59'. The differing ability of cultivars to produce ethylene during stress generally corresponded with their ability to generate germination potential. Ethylene production and germination potential in untreated and ACC-treated `Mesa 659' seeds increased upon slitting under stressful conditions. Thus, the ability of seeds to produce ethylene and to generate high germination potential under stressful conditions may be used as criteria to select stress-tolerant lettuce cultivars. Chemical names used: polyethylene glycol 8000 (PEG), 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), (2-chlorethyl) phosphoric acid (ethephon).

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J.J. Frett, W.G. Pill, and D.C. Morneau

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) seeds were primed for 1 week in –0.8 MPa (20C, dark) polyethylene glycol 8000 (PEG), synthetic seawater (INO), or combinations of Ca+2, K+, or Na+ with Cl, \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} , \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{H}_{2}\mathrm{PO}_{4}^{-}\) \end{document} , or \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{SO}_{4}^{-2}\) \end{document} ) and then were placed in 0.5-fold Hoagland solution at 20C for germination. Priming did not affect percentage germination of tomato seeds; but asparagus germination increased from 85% in untreated seeds to 90% due to priming. All priming treatments reduced the time to 50% germination (G50) of both species but reduced the time between 10% and 90% germination (G10-90) of only tomato seeds. Salt solutions gave lower G50 values than PEG for tomato seeds but did not provide this advantage for asparagus seeds. The G50 and G10-90 of tomato seeds were lower after priming with nitrate salts than with other salts, but the reductions were greatest with sodium nitrate. The G50 of asparagus seeds was lowered with nitrate salts, but the G10-90 was unaffected.

Open access

Ana Daniela Alvarado, Kent J. Bradford, and John D. Hewitt

Abstract

Osmotic priming of seed was evaluated as a means of improving stand establishment, early seedling growth, and yield of processing tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cvs. UC204 and 6203). Seeds were primed in aerated solutions of 3% KNO3 (w/v) or of polyethylene glycol 8000 (PEG) of equivalent osmotic potential (-1.25 MPa; 314 g-kg−1 of water) at 20°C for 7 days, rinsed, and dried in forced air at 30°. Under laboratory conditions, seeds primed in either osmoticum germinated more rapidly than untreated seeds at 20° and 30°. At 10°, the PEG treatment was of little benefit for either variety, while the KN03 treatment still reduced the time to 50% germination to 60% to 80% of the control value. Priming did not affect the final germination percentage. Seedling emergence in the field was evaluated in March and April planting dates. In both trials, seedlings from primed seeds emerged earlier and more uniformly than seedlings from untreated seeds. Seedlings from primed seeds maintained greater mean plant dry weights, leaf areas, and ground cover percentages than untreated seedlings throughout the preflowering period. This advantage was due entirely to early emergence rather than to an increased relative growth rate. The early growth advantage from seed priming did not improve earliness of maturity, total yield, or soluble solids content of fruit.

Open access

I. Gergely, R. F. Korcak, and M. Faust

Abstract

Polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced water stress in nutrient solutions decreased both water consumption and 45Ca uptake by apple seedlings (Malus domestica Borkh.) The decrease in water uptake was more severe than the decrease in 45Ca uptake. When 45Ca uptake was calculated on the basis of water consumption, it was found that 45Ca uptake was not dependent on water uptake although water was necessary for movement of 45Ca. In split-root experiments, PEG and 45Ca were either applied to the same half of the root or to separate halves. Calcium uptake decreased in plants subjected to water stress. The results indicated that the site of this decrease was at the root, not the aerial portion of the plant which, indirectly, may affect root function and thus 45Ca uptake. Split-root experiments also indicated that the unstressed half of the root cannot fully compensate for the stressed half of the root in either water or 45Ca uptake. Water use of plants with half of their root under a −5.0 bar water stress was decreased by 30%. Urea-nitrogen pretreatment did not modify the effect of osmotic stress on leaf Ca, Mg and K concentrations, water use or dry matter production during the period of applied water stress. All these parameters decreased with increasing solution osmotic stress.

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Wayne A. Mackay and Tim D. Davis

Seeds of four lupine species (L. microcarpus var. aureus, L. havardii, L. succulentis, and L. texensis) were subjected to 0, –2, –4, –6, or –8 bars osmotic potential using PEG 8000 solutions. Seeds of all species were acid scarified prior to placement in petri dishes containing the osmotic solutions. Petri dishes were placed in a seed germination chamber at 25°C with germination data collected daily for 15 days. Seeds of L. havardii, a desert species native to west Texas exhibited the greatest germination as osmotic potential declined while L. succulentis, a species adapted to moist sites, exhibited the greatest decline in germination as osmotic potential decreased. The other species exhibited intermediate germinability under the lower osmotic potentials.

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Gamil A. Kabbabe and William J. Carpenter

Verbena seed when harvested, has a natural dormancy that gradually dissipates during a 5 to 8 month period of dry storage. In this study, the gradual loss of the dormancy causing factor was correlated with germination percentage. Acetone treatment of verbena seeds was found to cause a slight, but non-significant, reduction in total germination. However, the infusion of gibberellic acid (GA4/7) and kinetin (KIN) with the acetone at various concentrations improved germination. The traditional method of seed osmoconditioning using Polyethylene Glycol (PEG 8000) at -1.0 MPa caused a non-significant reduction in percent germination, similar to that with acetone. When growth regulators were mixed with the osmoconditioning solution, at the concentrations used with acetone, a definite and significant improvement in terms of rate and percent of germination was observed.

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Paul L. Owen and Wallace G. Pill

Seeds of `Ace 55VF' tomato were soaked in solutions of -1.0 MPa Instant Ocean™ (inorganic salt mixture) or -0.6 MPa polyethylene glycol 8000 (P.E.G.) at 25 C for 1 week. `Mary Washington' asparagus seeds were soaked in the same solutions for 2 weeks. In solutions of decreasing matric or osmotic potentials, primed seeds germinated faster than untreated seeds. Germination percentages of primed seeds generally were greater than those of untreated seeds when water stress exceeded -0.5 MPa. All primed seeds, whether dried to a low moisture content or not, germinated faster than untreated seeds after storage for up to 3 months at 4 C or 20 C. Primed asparagus seeds germinated most rapidly and synchronously after storage at 4 C and high moisture content. Storage temperature and seed moisture content had no effect on subsequent germination of primed tomato seeds.

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Vladimir M. Samoylov and Kenneth C. Sink

Asymmetric somatic hybrids were obtained by PEG/DMSO fusion of protoplasts of a kanamycin-resistant (KmR+) interspecific tomato hybrid L. esculentum × L. pennellii with protoplasts of S. melongena eggplant. Elimination of tomato chromosomes was directed by application of 100, 250, 500, 750, and 1000 Gy of γ-rays to the donor protoplasts. The hybrid nature of selected KmR+ calli was confirmed by RAPDs, PCR amplification of the NptII gene, and Southern hybridization. Flow cytometry revealed that asymmetric hybrid plants were regenerated only from selected somatic hybrid calli that had a ploidy level close to 4n. The amount of donor DNA in three somatic hybrid plants was quantified by dot-blot hybridization with tomato species-specific probes, and was found to be 5% to 7%. Therefore, presence of four to five tomato chromosomes in asymmetric hybrid plants has been calculated. Detection of tomato-specific chromosomes in hybrid plants by RFLP analysis will be presented.

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Ahmet Esitken, Sezai Ercisli, Cafer Eken, and David Tay

Seeds of Orchis palustris Jacq. were primed for 1- to 5-day in polyethylene glycol (PEG-6000) solutions at -0.5, -1.0 or -1.5 MPa. The seeds were symbiotically germinated with BNR 8-3 mycorrhizal fungus on oatmeal agar at 22 °C. In general, priming hastened rapid germination. At -1.5 MPa water potential, the first to germinate was eight days compared to 18 days for the control. Percentage germination increased as priming water potential decreased, and the percentage germination was 55%, 58%, and 65%, at -0.5, -1.0, and -1.5 MPa, respectively, versus 43% for the nonprimed control. Priming duration from 1 to 5 days had little effect on germination performance. The best germination percentage (68%) was obtained from 1 day at -1.5 MPa treatment.