Conditions must be precisely controlled when testing for seed vigour and this is especially important when test periods are short, such as for the radicle emergence (RE) test. To date the effect of light on the RE test has not been considered, although it is known that light can affect seed germination. We show that light can have a significant effect on the RE result for both oilseed rape and radish. When compared with testing under standard conditions, RE results were higher when conducted in the dark and lower when conducted in high light for the 15 oilseed rape and four radish seed lots tested. Implications for the use of RE to predict seed vigour are discussed.
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Appeared or available online: 21 September 2018