Effect of seed deterioration on germination of wheat under environmental stresses Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/dj52w7805

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  • Germinating seeds often encounter stress conditions of temperature, moisture and oxygen in the field. Germination tests conducted under these stress conditions in the laboratory might be methods of differentiating high and low vigor seeds. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine if these stress conditions reduce germination performance of low vigor seeds more than high vigor seeds, and (2) determine the potential for using one or more of these stress environmental conditions as the basis of a vigor test to predict relative field performance of wheat seed. Seed lots of varying levels of deterioration were produced by artificial aging of 'Malcolm' wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Germination tests were conducted at temperatures of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30°C; water potentials of 0, -0.2, -0.4, -0.6, -0.8, -1.0, -1.2, and -1.4 MPa; and oxygen levels of 2, 4, 8, 12, 16% and air (21%). The water and oxygen stresses were applied at six temperatures. Laboratory germination results were compared to field emergence percentages of artificially and naturally aged seed lots. Germination percentage and rate of germination of low vigor seeds were depressed more than that of high vigor seeds at all water potentials and temperatures. At 20°C, for example, germination percentage of high, medium and low vigor seed lots at -0.6 MPa were 76, 48 and 29% respectively, compared to nearly 100% at 0, -0.2 and -0.4 MPa. Similar relationships existed at the other temperatures. Germination of low vigor seed generally declined with each reduction of oxygen level while that of high vigor seed remained nearly constant. The germination differential between high and low vigor seed lots widened to as much as 30% in 2% oxygen at 30°C. Twenty-four naturally-aged seed lots representing six varieties and four production years were evaluated for germination under water stress and field emergence. Correlation coefficients between germination at -0.6 MPa and field emergence were 0.61** and 0.59** for untreated and Arasan-treated seeds, respectively. It is clear from these studies that environmental stresses reduce the germination of low vigor seeds more than that of high vigor seeds. A vigor test based on one or more of these stresses has potential for being a practical and realistic method of predicting the relative field performance of wheat seed lots.
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