Variation in the Response of Seed and Embryonic Axes to Incubation Temperature Gradients during Seed Treatments in Pearl Millet and Sorghum

Mohamad A. Kader


Incubation temperature during the presowing soaking of seeds plays a significant role in determining the rate and characteristics of post-treatment germination. Three experiments were conducted on sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L Moench) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L. R. Br.) genotypes to determine the influence of constant, alternating, ascending and descending temperature regimes on germination characteristics of seeds after treatment. Incubation temperatures ranging from 10 to 35°C were applied as well as alternating the magnitude and range of day/night temperatures. A third experiment tested a 3-day temperature gradient and its impact on germination and seedling characteristics. All three incubation temperature regimes were combined with various hormonal and mineral seed soaking treatments to test for possible interactive effects. Temperature did not affect the final germination percentage of seeds but influenced the germination rate. Constant temperatures of 20 or 25°C induced higher germinative capacity than alternating or constant temperatures of higher or lower magnitude. Increasing the variance in day/night temperature reduced the rate of germination. Incubating seeds during soaking treatments at a constant 20°C for 3 days yielded better germination characteristics than a thermal gradient of 25/20/15°C. An 8 g l−1 NaCl treatment induced greater plumule (shoot) growth than non-treated counterparts and treating seeds with GA3 or salts improved germination characteristics and synchrony of treated seed lots.


seed treatments; treatment temperature; germination; plumule; radicle

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