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Evaluation of vigour tests for determination of seed storage potential in red clover (Trifolium pratensis L.) and timothy (Phleum pratense L.)

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Three different seed vigour tests, accelerated aging (AA), Germination Index (GI) and osmotic stress (OS), were evaluated for ranking six reference seed samples of 'Grindstad' timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and 'Lea' red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) according to their physiological potential for storage. AA was conducted at combinations of four temperatures (38, 41, 44 and 48°C) and four times (24, 48, 72, 96 h) and OS by germinating seeds at five osmotic potentials (0. -0.15, -0.30, -0.45, -0.60 MPa). The GI was calculated from daily counts from 2d (red clover) or 3d (timothy) to 10d (complete test) or from counts after 3d and 5d only (simplified GI). The reference samples, which had sustained different degrees of aging before testing, had standard germination percentages between 80 and 98% in timothy and between 79 and 92% in red clover. In timothy, all three vigour tests separated the potentially low-vigour seed from the high-vigour seed lots. The clearest separation was obtained using the GI-test, either as complete test (six out of six samples separated) or as a simplified test (five out of six samples separated). The AA-test, after optimal treatment for 56 h at 45°C, and the OS-test after osmotic stressing at -0.60 MPa, were also able to significantly separate five out of the six reference samples of timothy. In red clover, the clearest separation (five out of six samples) was obtained after AA for 24 h at 43-45°C and after osmotic stress at -0.15 MPa. The GI-test was unsuitable for vigour testing in red clover. Based on accuracy, rapidness and user reliability for practical use in commercial seed testing laboratories, the simplified GI-test and the AA-test for 24 h at 43-45°C were recommended as appropriate tests to assess timothy and red clover seed vigour, respectively.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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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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