Seed development and germination of monogerm sugar beets (Beta vulgaris L.) as affected by maturity Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/gh93h188s

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  • Maturation rates of monogerm sugar beet seed grown in Western Oregon were measured quantitatively to determine attainment of maximum seed development and germination. Seed was collected at various intervals after anthesis from two hybrid varieties representing the extremes in resistance (hard bolting) and susceptibility (easy bolting) to seedstalk development. The effects of harvesting procedures on seed development and germination were compared at the various stages of maturity using simulated direct and windrow methods. Maturity as determined by maximum germination and dry seed weight occurred at 40, 43 and 45 days after anthesis for the three years studied. Heat units accumulated from anthesis to maturity remained constant for all three years, even though 1965 was much warmer. It was concluded that the seed on sugar beet plants should be mature after 900 heat units are attained or 45 days after peak anthesis. The primary factor lowering the germination potential of mature seed was the occurrence of underdeveloped seeds, Chemical inhibitors in the sugar beet fruits as measured by firm ungerminated seeds may also reduce the germination for seed collected prior to maturity. Some seeds were capable of germination 20 days after anthesis. Plants and seeds of the hard bolting variety remained green throughout the maturation period, whereas easy bolting plants reached senesence and shattered. Plant appearance and percent moisture content were not found to be reliable indicators of sugar beet seed maturity. Maximum germination and dry seed weight were attained at nearly the same levels regardless of harvesting method used. Sugar beets cut prematurely continued seed development while drying on the windrowed plant, but also contained more substances inhibitory to germination. It was determined that germination, dry seed weight, heat unit accumulation and days from anthesis to maturity could all be used to estimate the optimum stage to harvest sugar beets for seed.
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