The germination of verbena (Verbena × hybrids) seed was found to be sensitive to high substrate moisture content. Cultivars varied in sensitivity to excessive substrate moisture content, with `Romance Scarlet' having higher total germination (G) in the presence of free water than `Showtime Blaze' or seedling `Red A'. Hilum cavity measurements of dry seeds showed larger hilum apertures with reduced depths for seeds of `Romance Scarlet' than for the others. Seed imbibition resulted in a rapid and extensive thickening of the hilum wall. The extent of hilum aperture closure varied among cultivars and the quantity of water present. Free water reduced hilum apertures 45% for `Romance Scarlet', 60% for `Showtime Blaze', and 86% for `Red A'. Seeds of `Romance Scarlet' and `Showtime Blaze' failed to germinate with lanolin covering the hilum, while seeds coated with lanolin, except for the hilum, had 67% to 78% G of nontreated seeds. This difference indicates that essential oxygen for the embryo was obtained through the hilum and micropyle of the seeds. Total germination varied with substrate moisture content, with seeds placed horizontally on 2%, 1%, or 0.5% agar having 80%, 75%, and 65% germination, respectively, for `Romance Scarlet' and 59%, 41%, and “24%, respectively, for `Showtime Blaze'.
Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) seed crops sometimes contain seeds with split coats that expand to twice their normal water content. These expanded seeds are often referred to as “fishmouth” seeds, because the split seed coat resembles an open fish's mouth when viewed longitudinally. “Fishmouth” seeds are dead seeds. However, little is known about why death occurs inside the fruit before harvest. Hermaphroditic flowers were tagged at anthesis and fruits were harvested at various intervals during the later stages of development and decay. Seeds were removed from the fruits and incubated in water on germination blotter paper for 14 days. The percentage of germinable, dead and “fishmouth” seeds were averaged for each Harvest date. Fruit pericarp samples were analyzed for pH, ethanol, and acetic acid content. At 50 days after anthesis (DAA), just past edible maturity, 100% of the seeds germinated. However, at 60 and 78 DAA germination dropped to 60 and 17%, respectively, while the occurrence of “fishmouth” seeds increased from 2 to 54% over the same period. The ethanol content of the tissue increased from 0.11 to 0.28%, the pH dropped from 6.2 to 5.1, and acetic acid concentration increased from 3.0 to 3.7 mM from 50 to 60 DAA, respectively. However, when dried seeds were incubated in the laboratory under conditions similar to those within the fruit, the formation of “fishmouth” seeds was related to the ageing effects of long term hydration and was not correlated with any chemical product within the fruit.
Seeds of two shrunken-2 (sh2) sweet corn (Zea mays L.) cultivars, Crisp N' Sweet 711 and How Sweet It Is were used to analyze seed quality factor differences between the cultivars. Negative correlations occurred among germination percentage and imbibition, electric conductivity, potassium concentration and total soluble sugars of the seed leachate. Imbibition and total soluble sugar in the leachate significantly increased as imbibition temperature increased from 5°C to 25°C in both cultivars. A significant increase in conductivity of the leachate also occurred in `Crisp N' Sweet 711' when temperature increased. Cracks in the seed coat were more frequent in `How Sweet It Is' than `Crisp N' Sweet 711'. The higher concentrations of soluble sugars in the seed, greater imbibition rate, leakage conductivity, potassium and sugar concentration in the leachate may have been directly related to the poorer seed quality of `How Sweet It Is'. The alteration in cell membrane structure caused by a rapid water uptake in `How Sweet It Is' may have led to the high concentration of electrolytes in the seed leachate. This, in turn, might provide a greater nutritive subtrate for fungi development.
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).
Excluding seeded offspring at an early stage could be of great value to the breeder concerned with the development of seedless grapes (Vitis vinifera L.). We used the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique to identify molecular genetic markers, analyzing 82 individuals of a progeny resulting from a cross between `Early Muscat' (seeded) and `Flame Seedless'. Seven variables representing the traits of seedlessness were analyzed: mean fresh weight of one seed, total fresh weight of seeds per berry, perception of seed content, seed size categories evaluated visually, degree of hardness of the seed coat, degree of development of the endosperm, and degree of development of the embryo. Among 160 10mer primers, 110 gave distinct band patterns. Twelve markers yielded significant correlations with several subtraits of seedlessness, mainly with the mean fresh weight of one seed and the total fresh weight of seeds per berry. Multiple linear regression analysis resulted in high coefficients, such as R = 0.779 for fresh weight of seeds per berry, when the seven markers were included as independent variables in the model. Most of the seeded individuals, about 44% of the progeny, could be excluded using a two-step process of marker assisted selection.
The effects of pollination treatments on fruit set and five berry characteristics [mass, diameter, number of apparently viable seeds (well-developed, plump with dark seed coat), total seed number (includes apparently viable and partially developed seeds), and harvest date] were examined on three highbush blueberry cultivars. Pollination treatments included unpollinated, open pollinated, emasculated, and three hand pollinations that used pollen from the same flower, from the same cultivar, or from a different cultivar. Berries matured earliest and were smallest with the most apparently viable seeds in `Northland', `Patriot' had the greatest fruit set and smallest seed number, and `Bluecrop' matured the latest. Fruit set was greater, berry size larger, seed number smaller, and maturation later in 1990 than 1991. For all three cultivars, berries were generally smallest, latest maturing, and had the fewest seeds when pollination was prevented and were largest with the most seeds and earliest maturing in open visitation. Emasculation resulted in berries similar to those from unpollinated flowers. For berry characteristics, cross-pollination was of benefit for `Patriot' and possibly `Northland' but not `Bluecrop'. Thus, commercial highbush blueberry planting designs must be based on the pollination requirements of the particular cultivar. `Northland' berries almost always had seeds, while `Patriot' showed high levels and `Bluecrop' low levels of parthenocarpy.
The inheritance of 8 monogenically controlled plant, fruit, and seed characters in Carica species is reported. The gene for red stem is dominant to that for green stem and the gene for red petiole is dominant to that for green stem and the gene for red petiole is dominant to that for green petiole. Genes for white and purple-blush flower colors are dominant to those for pale yellow; while the gene for red skin color of ripe fruit is dominant to that for yellow. However, the gene for red skin color is not dominant to that for orange skin color; the heterozygote has pink-skinned fruits. The gene for ridging on the fruit (carpel fusion lines) is dominant to that for wide groove, which in turn is dominant to that for narrow groove. Spiny vs. non-spiny seed coat produces an intermediate F1, indicating no dominance. The gene for succulent fruit pulp is dominant to that for dry pulp. The gene for bushy branching is dominant to that for sparse branching.
Thirty-six climbing accessions of lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) were grown on trellises with minimal chemical inputs in 5 trials at 4 Colombian sites. Mean dry-seed yield of all accessions at all 4 sites was 2.6 mt/ha. Mean yield at the least favorable site was 1.7 mt/ha; at the most favorable site it was 4.8 mt/ha. Although growth was affected adversely on a soil with pH 4.2, the mean yield was 2.5 mt/ha. Mean daily dry-seed productivity rates of all accessions ranged from 15.1 kg/ha/day to 44.1 kg/ha/day for the several locations, in some cases exceeding rates reported for common beans and other legumes at the same location. Mean yield and number of pods per plant varied significantly among sites, dependent upon temperature and soil differences. Days to flower and to dry-seed harvest were relatively stable traits. No relationship was found between yield and seed-coat color. Production constraints were rainfall distribution and acid, phosphorus-deficient soils. These studies demonstrated high productivity of lima beans under adverse and favorable climatic and soil conditions in Colombia
Attempts to select for flower bud chilling requirement (CR) at the seed stage were made in 58 families obtained from crosses and open-pollination of low chill selections and cultivars of peach and nectarine [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] from the Florida breeding program. A nonsignificant correlation (r = 0.08) between midparent bud CR and family seed CR was obtained. A low significant correlation (r = 0.21**) was obtained between individual seed CR and the CR of the resultant seedling. Seed coat removal had no effect on these correlations. Narrow sense heritability for bud CR as determined by parent-offspring regression was 0.50 ± 0.06. The small range in CR of the seed and pollen parents, 300 to 450 and 200 to 400 chill units, respectively, may explain the low correlation values obtained. The data suggest that it is impractical to screen for seedling CR based on seed CR where the CR for climatic adaptability must be held within a range of less than 300 chill units.
The USDA, Louisiana State University, and Lincoln University have released a new southernpea cultivar named WhipperSnapper. The new cultivar is the product of a plant breeding effort to incorporate genes conditioning superior yield and seed characteristics of Asian vegetable cowpeas into American snap-type southernpeas. The new cultivar was developed for use by home gardeners and market gardeners as a dual-purpose cultivar that can be used to produce both fresh-shell peas and immature, fresh pods or snaps. Typical ready-to-harvest WhipperSnapper snaps are green colored, 6.4 mm in diameter, 7.6 mm in height, and 24 cm long; the pods are slightly curved at the attachment end. Typical mature-green pods suitable for fresh-shell harvest exhibit an attractive yellow color, are 25 cm long, and contain 14 peas. Fresh peas are cream-colored, kidney-shaped, and weigh 24.5 g/100 peas. Dry pods exhibit a light straw color, and the dry peas have a smooth seed coat. The quality of WhipperSnapper seed is excellent. In replicated field trials, WhipperSnapper produced significantly greater yields of both snaps and peas than the snap-type cultivar Bettersnap. WhipperSnapper has potential for use as a mechanically-harvested source of snaps for use by food processors in mixed packs of peas and snaps. Protection for WhipperSnapper is being sought under the Plant Variety Protection Act.