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Plant Physiol. 1978 Apr;61(4):525-9.

Chilling Stress to Soybeans during Imhibition.

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  • 1Department of Agronomy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583.


Embryos, excised from seed coats of soybeans (Glycine max Merr. cv. ;Wayne'), leak profusely during the first minutes of imbibition. A discontinuity of temperature/leakage patterns occurs between 10 and 15 C; as embryos imbibe at 10 C or lower, disproportionately more solutes leak out per unit of water imbibed. Short periods of imbibition at or below 12 to 14 C reduce embryo germination and axis elongation; injury results from imbibition at 2 C for as little as 5 minutes. Humidifying embryos to 35 to 50% moisture before imbibition reduced leakage during imbibition and imparted some resistance to imbibitional chilling injury.The period of profuse leakage is interpreted as a time of membrane reorganization. Imposing a low temperature during this period prolongs the rapid leakage, suggesting delayed or faulty membrane reorganization. Reduced cold sensitivity of embryos with an initial 35 to 50% moisture content is presumed to be due to at least partial membrane reorganization in the embryo before imbibition. These data collectively are taken to indicate that low temperature interferes with normal membrane reorganization during imbibition, probably by modifying the physical state of membrane phospholipids, and that the consequent abnormal organization of membranes is a basic cause of low temperature injury.

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