Original Articles

Influence of sub-optimal imbibition temperatures on seed vigour and respiration in maize (Zea mays L.)


Abstract

Germination and coleoptile growth of nine seed lots of maize (representing seven cultivars) were studied at 25°C (constant), 13°C (constant) and also at 7°C (7 days) followed by 25°C. Relative germination response to sub-optimal temperatures reflected relative differences in germination rate at 25°C. Exposure to 7°C before incubation at 25°C had a marked stimulatory effect on germination of cold- resistant cultivars at the higher temperature. Low temperature appeared to have a differential effect on germination rate and coleoptile growth. Differences in the magnitude of respiration rate did not relate to differences in low temperature susceptibility but kernels of cold-resistant cultivars failed to exhibit a typical respiratory lag phase.

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