Physiological and biochemical studies of stratified Douglas-fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] seeds after redrying, storage, and subsequent germination Public Deposited

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  • The physiological and biochemical responses of Douglas-fir seeds to stratification, redrying, storage and subsequent germination were determined. Stratification increased seed vigor, embryo and gametophyte phosphorylative efficiency and RNA synthetic ability. Redrying seems to increase the rate of enthryonic nucleic acid synthesis, speed of germination and seedling vigor. ATP, total adenosine phosphates and energy charge levels of stratified seed were stable through air drying. RNA levels were markedly reduced during 1 and 3 months of cold storage possibly indicating an enhanced RNAse activity. Storage also reduced seed energy status, seed viability, and seed vigor. The loss of stratification benefits and subsequent deterioration throughout storage were similar in stratified and redried stratified seeds. None of the biochemical criteria studied in the 5-day-old seedling showed close proportionality with either physiological responses or biochemical changes obtained in the seed stage. Studies of water distribution among seed structures indicate that different tissues hydrate from an average of 6% to varied extent after stratification. Stratified seeds contained 46, 56, 52 and 32% moisture content in whole seed, seed coat, embryo and gametophyte, respectively. Moisture reduction of stratified seeds to 35% did not affect embryo or gametophyte moisture content. However, redrying stratified seeds to 25% reduced the moisture content of all seed structures. Three months of storage did not alter moisture distribution within seeds. Results suggest that it would be advantageous to redry seeds to a range of 25 to 35% before sowing to produce vigorous seedlings or to allow the expression of best benefits of stratification.
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