In the laboratory, gibberellic acid (GA3) applied to Tabasco pepper (Capsicum frutescens L.) seed at 1000 ppm for 48 hr and priming in 2.75% KNO3 for 144 hr significantly stimulated seed germination performance (a function of germination rate and percent germination). In the field, GA3-treated and primed seed treatments were direct-seeded or plug-mix planted and were evaluated for germination, emergence, and yield. In addition, a pregerminated plug-mix seed treatment and a transplanting treatment also were evaluated. Seed priming and GA3 treatment significantly decreased field emergence of both direct-seeded and plug-mix planted treatments. Seedling emergence percentages of untreated seed that was direct-seeded, and pregerminated seed that was planted in plug-mix were significantly higher than other treatments. Greatest stand percentage was observed in the pregerminated seed treatment. Mean rates of emergence increased in primed and pregerminated seed treatments. Total fruit yields of Tabasco were increased by transplanting or pregerminated seed treatments; red fruit yields were greater in pregerminated seed treatments.
A broadcast MnSO4 treatment of 38 Kg Mn/ha resulted in 2½-fold increase in both plant growth and shelled pea yields of ‘Darkskin Perfection’ peas. Pods per plant and peas per pod, 2 components of the yield equation, were reduced by Mn deficiency. Seed treatments of Mn EDTA were not effective in correcting the deficiency.
‘Miragreen’ garden pea seeds from individual seed lots were sorted into bleached, partially-bleached, and non-bleached categories. Seeds were either soaked for 48 hours in aerated water at 22°C, coated with thiram fungicide, or received no treatment. Seeds were planted in Conover loam soil where damping-off and seedling rot were primarily caused by Pythium ultimum Trow and Fusarium solani (Mort.) Sacc f. sp. pisi (Jones) Snyd. & Hans. No differences in germination in vitro were found among bleached, partially bleached, and non-bleached seeds. However, seedling emergence in the field was greater from untreated non-bleached seeds (69%) than from untreated bleached seeds (30%); emergence from partially bleached seeds (58%) was intermediate. Regardless of degree of bleaching, all seedlings were a normal green color after emergence, and appeared equal in vigor. Pea yields from untreated bleached seeds were less than from untreated non-bleached seeds, apparently because pea-emergence damping off was so much greater with bleached than with non-bleached seeds. No yield differences occurred with fungicide-treated seeds. Soaking partially bleached seeds for 48 hours in aerated water at 22°C prior to planting in April was as effective in improving emergence in artificially infested soil as coating seeds with thiram. However, when seeds were planted in mid-June, the thiram treatment gave higher seedling emergence than the soaking treatment. In general, high yields were achieved by early planting of seeds and minimum root rot.
Table beet (Beta vulgaris L.) ‘Ruby Queen’ seeds were either germinated in aerated water till radicle emergence or osmoconditioned (OC) in –1.2 MPa solutions of polyethylene glycol 6000 or MgSO4 for 7 days at 15°C. Seeds were sown in soil in growth chambers, infested with Pythium spp., and damping-off incidence was evaluated after 14 days. Disease incidence was reduced, compared to dry sown seeds, as a result of presowing treatments. High populations of bacteria (106–108 CFU/ml of solution) developed during the aerated soak, which protected seeds from Pythium damping-off. Seed leaching or osmoconditioning did not decrease susceptibility to damping-off in the absence of high seed bacterial populations. The fluid drilling gel was studied as a delivery system for chemical fungicides. Damping-off in dry-sown seed was reduced by incorporating thiram into a hydroxyethyl cellulose (Natrosol 250 HHW) gel. Gel alone had no effect on damping-off. In field studies, only slight improvements in stand were attributed to the incorporation of thiram in presowing treatments. Fungicide dressing of dry seed resulted in a large improvement in emergence. All presowing treatments had greater field emergence than dry-sown seeds in the absence of thiram, which was attributed to bacterial protection from damping-off.
Germination studies indicated that increasing priming duration (-1.0 MPa at 20 °C for 7, 14, or 21 days) increased `Moss Curled' parsley [Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Nyman ex A.W. Hill] germination rate quadratically and seed moisture content linearly. A histological and anatomical study was conducted to identify and/or quantify principle mericarp organ or tissue volume changes influenced by priming duration. Embryo volume increased as priming duration increased from 7 to 21 days (0.014 to 0.034 mm3), and this was due more to radicle (0.007 to 0.022 mm3) than to cotyledon (0.006 to 0.011 mm3) growth. Concomitant with increased embryo volume was increased volume of the depleted layer (space formation, surrounding the embryo), from 0.038 after 7 days to 0.071 mm3 after 21 days, and increased hydrolysis of central endosperm (a thick-walled endosperm type). In nonprimed mericarps, central endosperm cells constituted 97% of the endosperm volume. The remaining 3% was comprised of 1% depleted layer and 2% distal endosperm (small, thin-walled, and irregularly shaped endosperm cells). During 7 or 21 days of priming, ≈10% or 40%, respectively, of central endosperm cells were hydrolyzed centrifugally around the embryo with a corresponding decrease in volume of central endosperm with thick cell walls. In addition, distal endosperm cells adjacent to the depleted layer, containing reserve materials, were digested of contents following 21 days priming, and sometimes, following 7 days priming. A long priming duration resulted in degradation of pericarp tissues, as indicated visually and by a decline in pericarp volume. We hypothesize that priming duration of parsley primarily influences radicle growth and centrifugal digestion and utilization of central and distal endosperm, resulting in a larger depleted layer required for embryo volume increases. Secondary events influenced by priming duration include cotyledon growth and degradation of pericarp tissues.
`Moss Curled' parsley [Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Nyman ex. A.W. Hill] schizocarps were osmotically primed in polyethylene glycol at -1.0 MPa for 7 days at 20 °C. The smaller of the two mericarps within a parsley schizocarp had lower germination percentage, but similar rate and synchrony of germination. Osmotic priming increased germination percentage, rate, and synchrony, irrespective of mericarp half. This promotive effect of priming on germination was associated with embryonic advancement as indicated by a doubling of radicle and cotyledon volumes, without changes in lengths of these organs. Periclinal divisions of the lateral expansion meristem, distinct in primed radicles but indistinct in nonprimed radicles, led to radial alignment of the cortical cells and a doubling of cortical volume and thereby increased radicle volume. Each embryonic cotyledon of primed mericarps had three distinct procambial bundles that differentiated along most of the cotyledon length, while nonprimed cotyledons had from zero to three that differentiated only a short way into the cotyledon. Priming increased coyledonary procambium length by 5-fold and volume by 11-fold. Increased embryonic growth due to priming was associated with greater endosperm depletion adjacent to the embryo. The schizocarps frequently separated or partially separated into component mericarps during priming, indicating a weakening of pericarp tissue along the commissural suture and possibly elsewhere.
‘Minetto’ lettuce seeds (Lactuca sativa L.) were germinated at 35°C after different initial imbibition periods at 20°. No germination occurred at 35° in untreated seeds when the imbibition period was less than 6 hours. Maximum germination occurred after the seeds were imbibed for 16 hours. Most seeds primed in 1% K3PO4 at 15° for 9 hours then redried, germinated at 35°. However, germination increased gradually by increasing the time of early imbibition exposure to 9 hours. The endosperm membrane of seeds primed for 9-18 hours in a 1% K3PO4 solution did not rupture. Rupture of the membrane was evident after 21 hours of priming. A progressive loosening of the membrane after 9 hours of priming may be indicative of membrane weakening, possibly enhancing seed germination at high temperature.
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.
Carrot tissue cultures, germinating seed, and dry seed were exposed to gamma radiation. Irradiation accelerated germination of carrot seed in the M1 generation at low doses (0.5 and 1 krad), whereas higher doses delayed germination. A high negative correlation was observed between dose and survival of plants after seed irradiation. Plant size and root weight were 20 % to 35% greater than control plants after seeds, but not tissue cultures, were exposed to low doses of gamma irradiation. Higher doses reduced M1 plant size by >50% in germinating seed and tissue culture treatments but less for the dry seed treatment. Seed production decreased while phenotypic variation of M1 plants increased with increasing gamma ray dosage. Root weight and total dissolved solids were highly variable in M2 families. Less variation was observed in total carotene content and none was seen in sugar type (reducing vs. nonreducing sugars). Induced variation in root color and root shape was also observed. Irradiation of germinating seed and tissue cultures yielded more M2 variation than irradiation of dry seed. Putative point mutations were not observed. Unirradiated carrot tissue cultures did not yield significant M2 somaclonal variation. Average root weight of M2 plants increased with increasing gamma ray dosage, especially for the dry seed treatment.
A radish (Raphanus sativus L. cv. Scarlet turnip white tipped) seedling growth test was developed to examine promotive effects of 2-(3,4-dichlorophenoxy) triethylamine (DCPTA) on seedling vigor and plant development. Compared with controls, seed treatment using 30 μm DCPTA significantly (P = 0.05) enhanced the rates of root and hypocotyl elongation and seedling dry weight. Enhanced hypocotyl development by DCPTA showed a significant linear correlation (r = 0.83) with the increased taproot yield of mature plants grown from DCPTA-treated seeds. The harvestable taproot yield and harvest index of plants grown from seeds treated with 30 μm DCPTA were increased 109% and 38%, respectively, as compared with controls. Incubation of radish seeds in 30 μm DCPTA with actinomycin-D, alpha-amanitin, amisomycin, or cordycepin significantly reduced DCTPA-mediated seedling growth. These results indicate that nuclear gene expression and translation of mRNA on 80S ribosomes are required for the acceleration of seedling development by DCPTA.