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Effects of seed ageing on early post-germination root extension in maize: A spatial and histological analysis of the growth-zone



Effects of seed ageing on early post-germination root extension in maize: A spatial and histological analysis of the growth-zone



Seed Science & Technology 27(1): 151-162



The effects of deterioration of maize (Zea mays L. cv Jubilee) seed on the spatial distribution of root growth, and its cellular basis, was investigated. Seed (caryopses) of maize were artificially aged at 45degreeC and 18% seed moisture content for 30 h. This regime reduced seed vigour, but had only a small effect on the final % germination. All experiments on root growth were conducted between 72 and 75 h after imbibition using cohorts of aged and unaged seed which germinated between 24 and 48 h. Seed ageing reduced the extension rate of primary roots by 31%. Marking experiments revealed that this was the result of a lower maximum relative elemental growth rate, a premature deceleration in rate and a shorter growth-zone. Cell proliferation in the cortex was examined. Ageing reduced the mitotic index throughout the meristem, which was slightly smaller compared to controls. Cell doubling time was increased by ageing, indicating a slower rate of cell production. The profiles of cortical cell length were comparable for roots from aged and unaged seed over the apical 5 mm, but mature cell length was reduced, suggesting that effects of ageing on cell expansion were greater than those on cell division.

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Accession: 010563017

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