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  • Author or Editor: Carlos A. Parera x
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`Verina' leek (AIlium porrum L.) seed germination is normally reduced at temperatures > 25C. Leek seeds were primed in aerated solutions (1.5 MPa, 10 days at 15C) of d-mannitol (mannitol), polyethylene glycol-8000 (PEG), KNO, and a nonaerated solution of PEG-8000 (PEG). At high temperatures mannitol, PEG, and PEG significantly enhanced germination percentage relative to KNO, or the control. At constant 30C, the mannitol, PEG, and PEG treatments increased final germination almost 10 times and the coefficient of velocity (COV) was improved compared to KNO, and the control. 10 growth chambers with alternating day/night temperatures (38 to 28C or 32 to 22C, 10 to 14 hours, respectively), primed seeds had significantly higher emergence and a larger COV than the control. In a greenhouse study under good conditions for germination, total emergence of primed and nonprimed seeds was similar; however, mannitol, PEG, and PEG led to a significantly higher COV than the control or KNO, treatments. These controlled-environment results demonstrate that priming leek seeds via mannitol, PEG, and PEG may promote early emergence at high temperature and improve stand uniformity for container transplant production.

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Poor emergence and low seedling vigor are characteristics of many supersweet sweet corn (Zea mays L.) cultivars carrying the shrunken-2 (sh2) gene. Four sh2 sweet corn cultivar seeds [`How Sweet It Is' (HSII), `Crisp N' Sweet 711' (CNS-711), `Sweet Belle' (SB), and `Dazzle' (DZ)] were solid-matrix-primed (SMP), SMP with sodium hypochlorite (SMPcl), treated with a fungicide combination (F) (Imazalil + Captan + Apron + Thiram), or primed with the aforementioned fungicides (SMPf). The seed treatments were tested in the laboratory and the field. Seed imbibition and leachate electrical conductivity were lower in SMP seeds than in nonprimed seeds. In the field, emergence percentage and rate of CNS-711 and SB (high-vigor seeds) were not improved by the seed treatments compared to the nontreated seeds. Emergence percentage and rate of HSII and DZ (considered low-vigor seeds) were improved as a result of SMPcl, SMPf, or F treatments compared to nonprimed seeds. Compared to the F treatment, the SMPcl presowing treatment increased DZ seedling emergence rate and percentage. The combined SMP and seed disinfection via NaOCl seems to be a promising fungicide seed-treatment substitute that improves the stand establishment and seedling vigor of sh2 sweet corn cultivars. Chemical names used: 1-[2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-2-(2-propenyloxy)ethyl]-1 H imidazole (Imazalil); N-[(trichloromethyl)thio]-4-cyclohexene-1,2-dicarboximide(Captan); N- (2,6-dimethylphenyl)- N -(methoxyacetyl)alanine methyl ester (Apron); tetramethylthiuram disulfide (Thiram).

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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.

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The effects of the dry-back temperature on sh2 sweet corn seeds primed via solid matrix priming combined with sodium hypochlorite (SMPsh) were studied. Seeds of two sh2 sweet corn cultivars: Crisp N'Sweet 711 (CNS-711) and How Sweet It Is (HSII) were primed via SMPsh. After the treatment, the seeds were dried-back from 50-54% to 6-7% moisture content at 20, 30 or 40C and 25% RH. The rate of dehydration was significantly lower in CNS-711 compared to HSII at all dry-back temperatures. In both cultivars, seed respiration after 4, 16, and 32h of imbibition was greater in those dried at 30 and 40C compared to 20C or non-primed seed. Enzyme activity (glutamic acid decarboxylase activity) was decreased in HSII seeds dried at 20C. There were no differences among treatments in CNS-711. Leakage conductivity was significantly less when the seeds were dried-back at 30C or 40C compared to 20C or nonprimed seeds. Laboratory germination and seedling fresh weight were greater in seeds dried-back at 30C compared the others temperatures or non-primed seeds. The low rate of desiccation at 20C (30h and 8h in CNS-711 and HSII, respectively) may not suppress germination events after priming, thus damaging the embryo during dry-back. This work demonstrated the importance of dry-back temperature to the efficacy of SMPsh seed treatment in sh2 corn.

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Generally, sweet corn cultivars (Zea mays L.) carrying the shrunken-2 (sh2) gene have lower germination and seedling vigor than normal or sugary (su) cultivars. Seeds of sh2 `How Sweet It Is' (HSII) and `Crisp N'Sweet 711' (CNS-711) were imbibed for 6 hours. Rapid water uptake, higher seed leakage, and fungal infection were found in HSII, the lower germinating cultivar. Imbibition rate and leakage conductivity were reduced in both cultivars during the first 5 hours at 5C as compared with 25C. Sodium hypochlorite was an effective seed disinfectant. When the seeds were primed with sodium hypochlorite via solid matrix priming (SMP), germination under stressful conditions (soilcold test) was significantly improved in both cultivars. Primed seeds had significantly lower imbibitional rates and leakage conductivity than nonprimed seeds. The superior germination measured in primed and disinfected seeds was possibly due to the lower imbibitional rate and reduced seed fungal infection.

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In a test to overcome poor seed germination and seedling vigor of sweet corn (Zea mays L.) seeds carrying the shrunken-2 (sh2) mutant endosperm, primed seeds of two sh2 sweet corn cultivars—Crisp N'Sweet 711 (CNS-711) and How Sweet It Is (HSII)—were redried at 15, 20, 30, or 40C and 25% relative humidity after solid matrix priming (SMP). The dehydration rate was significantly lower in `CNS-711' than `HSII' at all temperatures. In both cultivars, the drying temperature after SMP was critical for seed performance. Primed seeds with a higher dehydration rate (dried at 30 or 40C) had better seed vigor, greater field emergence and seedling vigor, lower leachate conductivity and imbibition rate, and a higher respiration rate and glutamic acid decarboxylase activity than primed seeds redried at the lower temperatures or control seeds. Increased incidence of pathogen growth was observed on seeds dried at 15 and 20C relative to those dried at 30 or 40C, probably as a consequence of greater leakage from the seeds at a lower redrying temperatures. Lack of tolerance to dehydration at 15 and 20C was another factor adversely affecting the seeds redried at low temperature. A more rapid dehydration rate at a higher temperature after priming sh2 sweet corn improved many of the physiological characteristics used to measure seed quality and the subsequent emergence and vigor of the seedlings under field conditions.

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Presowing seed treatments were devised to improve emergence and crop uniformity of two sweet corn (Zea mays L.) cultivars [`Crisp N' Sweet 711' (CNS-711) and `How Sweet It Is' (HSII)] that carry shrunken-2 (sh2) mutant endosperm. The treatments included a fungicide combination, sodium hypochlorite (SH), solid matrix priming (SMP), and SMP combined with SH during treatment (SMPSH). Seed germination was tested in a laboratory cold test. Emergence percentage, emergence rate index (ERI), and seedling dry weight were calculated from field trials. CNS-711, in the cold test and field trials, had a higher germination rate, ERI, final emergence, and seedling dry weight than HSII. In both cultivars, SMPSH significantly improved germination in the cold test and final emergence and ERI in the field trials for HSII compared to nontreated seeds. There was no significant difference between the fungicide and SMPSH treatments regardless of cultivar. These results suggest that the combination of SMP and disinfection with SH can be an alternative seed treatment to fungicides to improve uniformity and stand establishment in sh2 sweet corns.

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A rapid and reliable predictor of sweet corn seed field emergence is required to produce high-quality, uniform crops. Field emergence of seven sh2 sweet corn cultivars grown at 3 geographic locations in Florida over 2 planting periods (fall and spring) was correlated with laboratory vigor tests. Factor analysis was used to separate non-collinear vigor tests for subsequent multiple regression models. The best single predictor test (R2=0.93***) was an index based on conductivity of the leachate and germination percentage after complex stressing vigor test incubated at 15°C. Leakage conductivity after 3 h soaking at 25 or 30°C (R2=0.90***), cold test in soil (R2=0.90***), mean alternate temperature stress conductivity test (R2=0.88***), standard germination test incubated at 30°C (R2=0.88***), and the index incubated at 25°C (R2=0.88***) were also good predictors of field emergence. Non-collinear tests including the towel germination test at 25°C and an alternate temperature stress conductivity test generated the highest most significant two factor predictor (R2=0.89***), and with glutamic acid decarboxylase activity (GADA) the best three factor predictor (r2=0.93***). The index of conductivity and complex stressing vigor test (ICS) proposed as a predictor of seed emergence considered two main factors affecting emergence in sh2 sweet corn: the condition of the membrane of the seeds and potential pathogen infection.

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To alleviate high-temperature-induced reductions in seed germination, emergence, and seedling uniformity in celery (Apium graveolens L.), seeds were primed via solid matrix priming (SMP); 0.5 g celery seeds was incubated at 15C with 10 g calcined clay and 2 ml water. After 2 days, 1, 2, 3, or 4 ml water or 1% NaOCl solution was added and seeds were kept for 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 additional days. The germination percentage and coefficient of germination velocity (COV) were calculated for each treatment at 15 and 30C. The seeds primed with NaOCl gained significantly less moisture after 8 days of priming than those treated with water, regardless of the volume added. Germination of nonprimed seeds was 83% and 2% at 15 and 30C, respectively. Final germination at 30C increased to >80% when seeds were primed with 3 or 4 ml NaOCl solution or 3 ml water for >10 days. SMP treatment significantly reduced the negative effect of high temperature on celery seed germination.

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The high temperature severely reduces seed germination, emergence, and seedling uniformity in celery (Apium graveolens L.). Celery seeds were primed via solid matrix priming (SMP) using water or 1% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) solution at 1, 2, 3 or 4 ml rate for 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 days. Moisture content of the seeds was calculated for each priming treatment and time interval. After priming, the seeds were dried back to the original dry weight. The germination percentage was calculated for each treatment at two different temperatures (15 and 30C). The seed primed with NaOCl gained significantly less moisture during priming than the water treatment. Seeds primed with NaOCl had significantly greater germination at both 15 and 30C, compared to seeds primed with water. The germination percentage of non-primed seeds was 83% and 2% at 15C and 30C, respectively. The final germination percentage at 30C was increase to 85% when the seeds were primed with 3 ml of NaOCl for 14 days. The combination of SMP with NaOCl significantly reduced the negative effect of high temperature on celery seed germination.

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