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Alicia M. Borowski, Vincent A. Fritz, and Luther Waters Jr.

This study was conducted to determine if changes in the raffinose: sucrose ratio in embryos of shrunken-2 sweet corn (Zea mays L.) hybrids were related to differences in seed leachate conductivity between two hybrids harvested at four maturities and artificially dried to 0.10 g H2O/g fresh weight. The ratio of raffinose: sucrose differed for `Crisp N' Sweet 710' (CNS) and `How Sweet It Is' (HSII). The mass ratio of raffinose: sucrose in CNS was >0.3 in seed harvested between 0.44 to 0.64 g H2O/g fresh weight and increased as seed dried from the initial harvest moisture to 0.10 g H2O/g fresh weight. Raffinose: sucrose ratios of HSII were <0.3 at all harvests between 0.55 to 0.72 g H2O/g fresh weight, but changes during desiccation were not as pronounced. Leachate conductivity of whole seeds of CNS and HSII decreased as seeds were harvested at progressively lower moisture contents. We suggest that a higher raffinose: sucrose ratio may be indicative of increased seed vigor in shrunken-2 hybrids.

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Alicia M. Borowski, Vincent A. Fritz, and Luther Waters Jr.

The objective of this study was to examine seed maturity at harvest as it relates to seed vigor in two commercial shrunken-2 (sh2 J sweet corn hybrids (Zea mays L. var rugosa Bonaf., cvs. Florida Staysweet, Crisp N' `Sweet 710). Seed harvest began at 0.76 g H2O/g fresh weight in 1987 and at 0.70 g H2O/g fresh weight in 1988 and 1989, and was continued at gradually declining moisture levels until frost. In five different tests of seed performance, seed of `Florida Staysweet' (FLASS) harvested between 0.23 to 0.57 g H2O/g fresh weight in 1987 possessed the highest seedling vigor. In 1988 and 1989, maximum vigor was achieved by FLASS seed harvested from 0.40 to 0.60 g H2O/g fresh weight and `Crisp N' Sweet 710' (CNS) seed harvested from 0.45 to 0.65 g H2O/g fresh weight. Standard germination test, seedling growth cold test (SGCT), and seed leachate conductivity provided the most consistent results to `determine optimum seed maturity. Seed weight was not as reliable an indicator of seed vigor in 1988 and 1989 as it was in 1987, and endosperm and embryo weights did not correlate with seedling vigor in any year.

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Vincent A. Fritz, James B. Hebel, Alicia M. Borowski, and Patricia E. Hung

Ethephon and 2,4-D were foliarly applied to red-skinned `Norland' potatoes (Solarium tuberosum L.) to determine if periderm color could be enhanced at harvest and throughout storage. Base rates of 250 and 185 ml·liter–1 for ethephon and 2,4-D, respectively, were applied at the onset of tuberization (tubers ≥ 2.5 cm in diameter). Base or double-rate foliar applications of either ethephon or 2,4-D resulted in significant U.S. No. 1 yield reductions and did not affect periderm color intensity at harvest or throughout storage sufficiently to warrant their use. Chemical names used: (2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid (ethephon), (2,4 -dichlorophenoxy) acetic acid (2,4-D).

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Vincent A. Fritz, Harold A. Cloud, Robert F. Deef, and Alicia M. Borowski

An experimental research seed dryer based on the heat pump principle was built to dry sweet corn (Zea mays var. rugosa L.) seed on husked ears. The dryer is not susceptible to environmentally induced drying rate fluctuations that are common with a conventional open-system forced-air oven. The dryer operates as a closed system and, as a result, provides a more constant drying environment. The ability to control air flow, temperature, and humidity makes the dryer a valuable tool for seed production research.