Factors affecting seed quality in dwarf French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) before harvest maturity
Dwarf French beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were sown at the same site in Canterbury, New Zealand, on three different dates, at three populations and were hand harvested on three dates (after 800, 860 or 920°C days), either desiccated or not. Later sowing, higher plant populations, desiccation and earlier harvesting reduced seed size, but seed germination of all treatments was ≥ 91%. Small but significant differences were found in seed vigour (accelerated ageing, seedling strength and electroconductivity). Seed quality was reduced because of rain during harvest, especially for seeds with <25% seed moisture content. This indicates seed quality can already be reduced by rewetting before harvest maturity is reached. Desiccation of the crop, when applied after seed physiological maturity, accelerated crop maturity without reducing seed quality. The impact of drying seed in or outside the pod for research purposes is discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2004
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