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  • Author or Editor: C.W. Vertucci x
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Sweet corn with the shrunken-2 (sh2) gene is characterized by poor seed emergence and low seedling vigor. Also, this variety is sensitive to flooded conditions. Our objective was to determine the effects of aeration, during priming treatment, on germination and vigor. Priming consisted of aerating sh2 maize seed during soaking then drying on a lab bench overnight under a fan. Fifty seeds at a time were soaked (25 ± 2C) in 100 ml deionized water. During this time they received either 75% O2: 25% N2, pure N2, pure CO2, or no gas (soak control) for up to 6 hours. The flow rates ranged from 0.35 to 2 standard liters per minute for 75% O2: 25% N2, 0.8 to 2.5 for N2, and 0.5 to 1.3 for CO2. Pressure was held constant at 1 psi. All samples were weighed before soaking, immediately after soaking, and again upon partial drying. Germination was counted after 7 days using the rolled paper towel method (25 ± 1C). Radicle lengths were measured after 72 hours. Oxygen (75%) increased vigor. Also, O2 permitted greater water absorption (P < 0.02). Carbon dioxide and N2 both decreased vigor. Data suggest that aeration conditions (75% O2) during the hydration treatment has beneficial effects.

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