Physiological potential of soybean seeds and its relationshipto electrical conductivity

Abstract: Electrical conductivity (EC) stands out among vigor tests because of its capability of detecting damage in seeds in the initial stage, since EC is related to disorganization of the cell membrane. The aim of this paper was to study use of the EC test as an alternative for vigor evaluation in soybean seeds, verifying its relationship to different vigor tests and thus suggesting values and the range of values of electrical conductivity that indicate the performance potential of a seed lot in the field. Eleven seed lots from each of four soybean cultivars were used for this study. The moisture level was determined and the following tests were performed: electrical conductivity, germination, tetrazolium, accelerated aging, first germination count, seedling vigor classification and emergence of seedlings in the field and in sand. The EC test had a significant and negative correlation (p < 0.01) with all the tests performed. Linear regression analysis allowed separation of the seed lots into classifications of very high vigor (EC ≤ 70 μS.cm-1.g-1), high vigor (EC from 71 to 90 μS.cm-1.g-1), medium vigor (EC from 91 to 110 μS.cm-1.g-1) and low vigor (EC ≥ 111 μS.cm-1.g-1).