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Leek (Allium porrum L.) seed development and germination

  • D. Gray (a1), J. R. A. Steckel (a1) and L. J. Hands (a1)


The effects of development of leek seeds at 20/10°, 25/15° and 30/20°C (day/night) and drying of seed harvested at different developmental stages on subsequent performance were examined in each of 3 years. An increase in temperature from 20/10° to 30/20°C reduced mean seed weight from 2.90 to 2.55 mg as a result of a reduction in the duration of seed growth from 80 to 55 days; seed growth rate was unaffected. Seed moisture content reached a minimum, up to 35 days after the attainment of maximum seed dry weight and 115, 90 and 70 days after anthesis at 20/10°, 25/15° and 30/20°C, respectively. The curves relating seed moisture to time for each temperature regime were mapped onto a single line accounting for >90% of the variation in moisture content, using accumulated day-degrees >6°C instead of chronological time. Seeds were capable of germinating when seed moisture contents were >60% (fresh weight basis), but maximum viability and minimum mean time to germination were not attained until seed moisture contents at harvest had fallen to 20–30%. Germination was little affected by temperature of seed development. Drying immature seeds increased percentage germination. Growing seeds at 30/20°C and drying at 35°C and 30% RH raised the upper temperature limit of germination compared with growing at 20/10°C and drying at 15°C and 30% RH.


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Leek (Allium porrum L.) seed development and germination

  • D. Gray (a1), J. R. A. Steckel (a1) and L. J. Hands (a1)


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