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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 82 No. 6, p. 1103-1107
    Received: Feb 7, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Polyethylene Glycol Solution Contact Effects on Seed Germination

  1. William E. Emmerich  and
  2. Stuart P. Hardegree
  1. USDA-ARS, Aridland Watershed Manage. Res. Unit, Tucson, AZ 85719



While polyethylene glycol (PEG) solutions have been used to control water potential in numerous seed germination investigations, there is concern that PEG solution-seed contact may reduce seed germination. The PEG solution-seed contact effect on seed germination was evaluated on four grass species: sideoats grama [Bouteloua curtipendula (Michaux) Torrey], buffelgrass [Cenchrus ciliaris L.], Lehmann lovegrass [Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees], and kleingrass [Panicum coloratum L.]. A water potential control system for seed germination was developed that controlled PEG (8000 mol. wt.) solution-seed contact. Seeds were germinated on filter paper and ellulose membrane over the water potential range of 0.0 to −1.62 MPa. Buffelgrass and Lehmann lovegrass 21-d germination and germination rate index (GRI) were not affected by PEG solution-seed contact. Sideoats grama and kleingrass showed reduced germination and GRI without PEG solution contact on the cellulose membrane. The reduction was attributed to the hydraulic conductivity at the seedwater- membrane contact point which was influenced by PEG solution water potential and seed size and shape. Therefore, it was concluded EG solution-seed contact does not reduce seed germination.

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