Maturation and Desiccation Tolerance in Seeds of Sesbania virgata (Cav.) Pers.
ABSTRACT The maturation process of Sesbania virgata seeds was investigated through fruits and seeds at different maturation stages, where they were described morphologically. For the seeds, fresh and dry mass and moisture were determined and structural analysis of the tegument under a light microscope was performed. Germination tests in the presence and absence of drying and the electrophoretic profile of heat resistant proteins were also performed. The results showed that the seeds reached physiological maturity at 44 days after anthesis (DAA), evidencing a secondary cell wall. The acquisition of desiccation tolerance was observed at 44 DAA, with the seeds responding to the drying treatment. Protein bands were observed from 32 DAA, which remained constant until the end of maturation. These results allowed the characterization of the development and acquisition of desiccation tolerance in S. virgata seeds.