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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 10 No. 1, p. 31-34
    Received: Apr 22, 1969

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Viability and Leaching of Sugars from Germinating Barley1

  1. Aref A. Abdul-Baki and
  2. James D. Anderson2



The relationship of viability to leaching of sugars from germinating barley seeds has been studied with respect to age, accelerated aging, and mechanical injury of seeds. Sugar leaching increased with increased seed age and with increased mechanical injury of endosperm, but it was unchanged by accelerated aging except when viability was severely reduced.

The amount of leached sugars, particularly glucose, even in seeds of high viability was a significant portion of total sugars found in the seed at 4, 8, and 12 hours of germination. Aging the seeds for 2, 5, and 8 years increased sugar leaching and reduced viability. Mechanical injury increased sugar leaching without affecting viability. Accelerated aging treatment up to 12 days did not affect sugar leaching but reduced viability. We conclude that sugar measurements are not a reliable index for seed viability. Furthermore, the leaching of sugars appears to be regulated primarily by the rate of utilization of such sugars during germination rather than by changes in membrane permeability of the dry seed.

Eighty to 90% of the total glucose and sucrose of the seed was found in the endosperm. The remaining 10 to 20 % was found in the embryo. As germination progressed, the total amount of glucose in both embryo and endosperm increased while sucrose decreased. The depletion of sucrose was most pronounced in the embryo.

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