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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 31 No. 2, p. 454-458
    Received: Apr 16, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Seed Germination in Polyethylene Glycol Solution: Effects of Filter Paper Exclusion and Water Vapor Loss

  1. W. E. Emmerich  and
  2. S. P. Hardegree
  1. U SDA-ARS, Aridland Rangeland Management Res. Unit, 2000 E. Allen Rd., Tucson, AZ 85719
    N orthwest Watershed Res. Ctr., 800 Park Blvd., Plaza IV Suite 105, Boise, ID 83712



Seed germination under controlled water potentials is commonly investigated in petri dishes containing polyethylene glycol (PEG) solution-saturate filter paper. Filter paper exclusion of PEG and water vapor loss from unsealed container change the solution water potential from the initial PEG solution potential. The influence of water potential change attributable to PEG exclusion and vapor loss were evaluated with sideoats grama [Bouteloua curtipendula (Michaux) Torrey], buffelgrass [Cenchrus ciliaris L.], Lehman lovegrass [Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees], and kleingrass [Panicum coloratum L.]. Exclusion of PEG by filter paper substrate significantly influenced total germination and germination rate for three of the four species. The absence of a measurable effect on Lehmann lovegrass was attributed to low germination lower water potentials. Oscillating substrate water potentials originating from water vapor losses and subsequent additions produced significantly greater total germination and faster germination rate when compared to a constant water potential. Polyethylene glycol filter-paper exclusion and water vapor loss from PEG solutions are significant influences that must be considered when conducting seed germination investigations.

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