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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Germination of Sugar Beet Seed Is Enhanced by Addition of Hydrogen Peroxide

item McGrath, J Mitchell

Submitted to: National Stand Establishment Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Adequate establishment of sugarbeet field stands is a recurring problem for growers. Predicting field emergence using laboratory testing would be advantageous, particularly if the factors governing sugar beet seed germination related to the process of stand establishment were targeted. We developed a strategy to examine germination under a set of easily reproduced conditions where moisture was not limiting. Commercial seed, breeding lines, experimental hybrids and related germplasm were germination tested using one of three conditions (1) a pleated germination paper test, (2) germination in autoclaved, distilled water and (3) germination in 0.3% hydrogen peroxide. Among commercial seedlots, where traditional germination tests are uniformly high, germination in water alone showed marked differences between varieties and to a lesser extent different seedlots of the same variety. Addition of hydrogen peroxide to the water medium showed germination percentages equivalent to the traditional germination tests. Reasons for enhanced germination in hydrogen peroxide may include increased availability of molecular oxygen, altered redox potential of the seed or in some cases an antibiotic effect against seed borne contaminants. Interestingly, relative germination percentages in water corresponded with relative field emergence, although absolute values were different.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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