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P.C. Lee, A.G. Taylor, and T.G. Min

Sinapine leakage to detect seed germination potential on a single-seed basis in Brassica has been developed as a rapid test. In this test, sinapine leakage predicts that a seed is non-germinable; however, the major source of errors in this method are false-negative (F–)—i.e., the method predicted a seed was germinable because the seed did not leak, and it did not germinate. The sinapine leakage index (SLI) was used to asses the F– for any seed lot by dividing the number of non-germinable seeds that leaked sinapine by the total number of non-germinable seeds. Seed lots including cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli (B. oleracea L., Captitata, Botrytis, and Italica groups, respectively) were used to examine the F–. The leakage rate as measured by T50, the time for 50% of heat-killed seeds to leak, was linearly correlated to SLI. Cabbage seeds were viewed by scanning electronic microscopy and leaking non-germinable seeds either had cracks or were shrunken. NaOCl pretreatment has been found to increase the rate of sinapine leakage and SLI. The mode of NaOCl was due to high pH altering the seed coat permeability. Chemical analysis was conducted on isolated seed coats for pectin, tannins, hemicellulose, cellulose, phenolic lignin, and cutin. It was found that the higher SLI (more permeable) lots contained lower amounts of cutin, suggesting that cutin may restrict the diffusion of sinapine through the testa.

Open access

H. J. Hill, A. G. Taylor, and T.-G. Min


The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between seed density and seed quality of vegetable seeds hydrated by imbibing or priming procedures. Species studied were: lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), onion (Allium cepa L.), cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata L.), and carrot (Daucus carota L.). Seeds of each crop were soaked in either aerated distilled water at 25C (imbibed seeds) or polyethylene glycol (PEG) 8000 at 15C (primed seeds). After soaking, seeds were separated into density classes with a float-sink procedure using aqueous solutions of Maltrin 600 (Maltrin 500 for lettuce) with 0.02 g·cm−3 density increments. Significant (P > 0.01) positive relationships were determined between seed density classes and germination percentages for lettuce, tomato, and onion seeds, whether separated after imbibition (R 2 = 0.93, 0.83, and 0.66, respectively) or after priming (R 2 = 0.95, 0.94, and 0.91, respectively). High-density classes of hydrated lettuce, tomato, and onion seeds in either the imbibed or primed treatment usually exhibited faster and more uniform rates of radicle emergence and, after 6 days, had longer hypocotyls (cotyledon for onions) than low-density classes. The significant quality differences exhibited among the density classes of lettuce, tomato, and onion seeds after priming will enable seedlots of these species to be upgraded by discarding the low-density, poor-quality seeds.