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Plant Physiol. 1983 Jul;72(3):620-4.

Dehydration Injury in Germinating Soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) Seeds.

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  • 1Department of Crop Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada.


The sensitivity of soybean (Glycine max L. Merr. cv Maple Arrow) seeds to dehydration changed during germination. Seeds were tolerant of dehydration to 10% moisture if dried at 6 hours of imbibition, but were susceptible to dehydration injury if dried at 36 hours of imbibition. Dehydration injury appeared as loss of germination, slower growth rates of isolated axes, hypocotyl and root curling, and altered membrane permeability. Increased electrolyte leakage due to dehydration treatment was observed only from isolated axes but not from cotyledons, suggesting that cotyledons are more tolerant of dehydration. The transition from a dehydration-tolerant to a dehydration-susceptible state coincided with radicle elongation. However, the prevention of cell elongation by osmotic treatment in polyethylene glycol (-6 bars) or imbibition in 20 micrograms per milliliter cycloheximide did not prevent the loss of dehydration tolerance suggesting that neither cell elongation nor cytoplasmic protein synthesis was responsible for the change in sensitivity of soybean seeds to dehydration. Furthermore, the rate of dehydration or rate of rehydration did not alter the response to the dehydration stress.

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