Physiological quality of popcorn seeds assessed by the accelerated aging test
Abstract: Despite the insufficient internal supply of popcorn kernel cultivars, the Brazilian production is continuously increasing. Therefore, searching for tests that offer fast results and reliable information on the physiological potential of the seeds is very important. The objective of this study was to assess the efficiency of the accelerated aging test, by using different times and exposure temperatures, for the evaluation of the physiological quality of popcorn seed lots. Popcorn seeds from three lots of the hybrid AP 8203 were used. For the initial characterization of the lots, the following tests were conducted: seed moisture content, first and final germination count, and field emergence. The accelerated aging test was performed in a 3x4x2 factorial scheme. After aging, the seeds were tested for moisture content, germination, and electrical conductivity. The experiment was carried out in a completely randomized design. The characteristic vigor was affected during aging, as evidenced by the increase in the amount of leachate detected by the electrical conductivity test. Seed lot 3 was most vigorous in the aging test conducted for 48 h at 45 °C. The accelerated aging test at 42 ºC for 48 h provides consistent information to differentiate seed lots of popcorn.