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Crop Science Abstract -

Effects of Temperature, Moisture Stress, and Seed Size on Germination of Nine Spring Wheat Cultivars1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 26 No. 3, p. 563-567
    Received: Apr 1, 1985

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  1. G. P. Lafond and
  2. R. J. Baker2



To determine if spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars show differential germination responses to varying levels of temperature and moisture stress, various seed-size lots of nine cultivars were germinated in water at S, 8, 12, 20, and 30°C, and in polyethylene glycol (PEG 8000) solutions with osmotic potentials of 0.0, -0.4, and -0.8 MPa at 10 and 20°C. Numbers of germinated seeds were recorded at intervals of 4 to 12 h depending upon temperature and stage of germination. Germination was expressed as a cumulative percentage of the number of seeds germinated by the final recording and, because of the unequal intervals between successive recordings, germination-time curves were described as logistic functions of time. Each curve was characterized by final germination percentage, median germination time, and maximum rate of germination. Final germination exceeded 90% in all instances. At 20°C, cultivars differed by as much as 7 h in median germination time. Cultivar differences were consistent, though decreasing in magnitude, as temperature increased from 5 to 30°C. Differences in median germination time could not be attributed to differences in rate of water uptake. The reciprocal of median germination time, a measure of rate of germination, was linearly related to temperature. Small seeds germinated faster than large seeds in all cases. Increasing osmotic moisture stress from 0.0 to −0.8 MPa caused median germination time to increase from 90 to 156 h at 10°C and from 36 to 64 h at 20°C. Relative germination times of the cultivars were consistent over the different levels of osmotic moisture stress.

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