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Prediction of germination in artificially aged seeds of Brassica spp. using the bulk conductivity test

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This research aimed to determine whether measurements of solute leakage from seeds of cauliflower and cabbage by the bulk electrical conductivity test could be used to predict germination. Two approaches were used. Firstly, samples differing in germination were created by combining different proportions of living and dead seed (heat-killed at 130°C for 3h) within the test sample from 100% living to 0% living. This resulted in a clear correlation (R2=0.99) between conductivity and actual germination. The second approach was to produce samples that differed in germination as a result of ageing under different conditions. Seeds were aged at two moisture contents (15, 20%), for 0-120 h at 45°C. Germination decreased and conductivity increased with increased ageing time in both species. Where there was a wide range in the germination of aged samples (1-100%), there was again a correlation between germination and leachate conductivity (R2 > 0.92). When germination was high (90-100%) conductivity was closely correlated with the germination of cauliflower (R2 > 0.70) although less so for cabbage (R2 > 0.46). Conductivity and germination values combined for both ageing treatments gave a single correlation of 0.92 (normal germination) and 0.87 (total germination) for cauliflower and 0.80 (normal germination) and 0.75 (total germination) for cabbage. Thus the leakage / germination relationship was apparently independent of the rate of ageing as influenced by seed moisture content. The prediction of germination using conductivity measurements is discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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