Influence of physiological and health quality on the vigor of cucumber seeds
ABSTRACT The physiological performance of seeds is related to their physiological quality and seed vigor, while their health quality may interfere with germination and early seedling establishment in the field due to the interaction of microorganisms associated with seeds. The study aimed to evaluate the physiological performance and health quality of cucumber seeds and to verify the relationship between these attributes. The physiological quality of cucumber seeds was evaluated by standard germination tests, first count of germination, controlled deterioration test, electrical conductivity test, seedling emergence, emergence speed index, and traditional accelerated aging and aging modified with saline for 48, 72, and 96 h. The health quality of cucumber seed lots was evaluated by blotter test. Stratification of cucumber seed lots by seedling emergence was similar to seedling emergence by controlled deterioration test, first count of germination, and electrical conductivity results. The cucumber seed lots evaluated showed high germination rates; however, lots 1 and 3 had a better performance in vigor tests than lots 2 and 4. Fungi detected in the blotter test were Alternaria sp., Aspergillus sp., Cladosporium sp., and Penicillium sp. Seed lots 2 and 4 had low vigor evaluated by seedling emergence and controlled deterioration, and showed a higher incidence of Penicillium sp. in the evaluation of health quality of seeds. The incidence of Penicillium sp. may negatively affect the vigor of cucumber seeds evaluated by seedling emergence and by controlled deterioration test.