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Effect of harvest and conditioning on vigor of shrunken-2 sweet corn seed

Journal of Production Agriculture 7(3): 335-341
Effect of harvest and conditioning on vigor of shrunken-2 sweet corn seed
Shrunken-2 (sh-2) sweet corn (Zea mays L.) generally exhibits lower and more variable seed vigor than sweet corn based on the sugary (su) gene. We hypothesized that seeds expressing the sh-2 trait may react unfavorably to established harvesting and conditioning practices. This study was performed to test the effect of harvest and conditioning steps on viability and vigor of sh-2 sweet corn seed. Ten commercial sh-2 sweet corn seedlots in 1989 and nine seedlots in 1990 were sampled periodically during production and conditioning. Samples were taken at black layer, immediately prior to harvest, before husking, after husking, before shelling, after shelling, and at the end of the conditioning procedure. Shelling was the only operation that consistently damaged the seed, reducing standard germination from 72 to 60% in 1989 and from 71 to 66% in 1990, when averaged across all seedlots. Shelling reduced the final stand in the field from 24 to 16% in 1989 and 48 to 43% in 1990. Even when 1990 seed was treated with fungicide before planting, shelling still reduced final stand from 73 to 68%. Preharvest factors were more important determinants of vigor than conditioning operations, with final stands (untreated) produced from samples taken just prior to harvest ranging from 9 to 44% (median 27%) in 1989, and 19 to 81% (median 45%) in the 1990 samples. Germination percentages from the accelerated aging test and leachate conductance values were highly correlated with final stand experiment wide in 1989 and 1990 (0.45 lt r lt 0.58), but were usually not correlated with final stand within seedlot, suggesting that performance of the seed in vigor tests was associated mainly with preharvest factors.

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Accession: 002356409

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