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  • Author or Editor: Paul L. Owen x
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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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The influence of two drying regimes and two storage temperatures of primed asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seeds on germination after storage up to 3 months was examined. Seeds of `Mary Washington' asparagus and `Ace 55' tomato primed in synthetic seawater (-1.0 MPa, 20C, 1 week, dark) were surface-dried at 20C and 50% relative humidity (RH) for 2 h (42% to 49% moisture) or dried-back at 20C and 32.5% RH for 48 h (moisture = 13% tomato and 22% asparagus). These and nonprimed seeds were stored in tight-lidded metal cans and heat-sealed plastic pouches at 4 or 20C for up to 3 months before germination at 20C. After 3-month storage, primed surface-dried asparagus seeds stored at 4C had greater germination percentage and rate than nonprimed seeds, surface-dried seeds stored at 20C, or primed dried-back seeds. Dried-back primed tomato seeds had higher germination percentage than surface-dried primed seeds after 2 or 3 months of storage, with storage temperature having no effect on germination perecentage or rate. In a further study, primed surface-dried and primed dried-back seeds stored at 4 or 20C for 1.5 months in sealed containers were germinated at 15, 25, or 35C under low (-0.05 MPa) or high osmotic stress (-0.4 MPa). Primed surface-dried asparagus seeds stored at 4C, compared to nonprimed seeds, surface-dried seed stored at 20C, or primed dried-back seeds, had greater germination percentage at 15 and 35C and low osmotic stress, and higher germination rate at 15 or 25C. Primed tomato seeds had greater germination percentage than nonprimed seeds only at 35C and low osmotic stress, and higher germination rate at 15 or 25C. Storage of primed tomato seeds at 4C rather than 20C increased germination rate at 15 or 25C, and increased germination percentage at 35C and low osmotic stress. For maximal seed viability and germination rate after 1.5 to 3 months of storage, primed asparagus and tomato seeds should be stored at 4C rather than 20C; however, asparagus seeds should be surface-dried, and tomato seeds should be dried-back.

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