Varietal variation and physiological basis for inhibition of wheat seed germination after excessive water treatment
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Soaking the seeds of most upland plants in water before sowing results in poor germination. Varietal differences in flooding tolerance of seeds have been reported in maize, soybean, barley and so on. This study was conducted to evaluate the varietal difference in wheat (2n = 42) seeds to soaking injury and to examine the importance of ethanol accumulation and seed coat as determinants of flooding tolerance. Of 342 varieties tested, many from Asia appeared more tolerant of flooding than the varieties from the Middle East. Soak-induced inhibition of germination and amounts of ethanol excreted were increased with soaking duration. Seeds of 26 wheat varieties were soaked 8 days at 20 °. Subsequent germination was correlated with amounts of ethanol excreted. Seeds with a red-colored coat exhibited higher tolerance to flooding than white ones, however, a varietal difference existed even in the case where the seed coat was peeled. These data suggest that soak-induced inhibition of wheat seed germination relates to accumulation of ethanol rather than seed coat color.
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