Water stress in germination, growth and development of coffee cultivars

Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of water stress on the germination of Coffea arabica seeds and the growth and development of plants from these seeds. Seeds of the cultivars Bourbon Vermelho, Mundo Novo, and BA-10 were placed to germinate in the dark at 30 ºC in the presence and absence of 100 g/L of polyethylene glycol 6000. The water stress applied delayed the beginning of seed germination by seven days in relation to seeds of the control, which had achieved responses of up to 50%, but there were no differences between the treatments at the end of the experiment. Furthermore, the length of the primary root in seeds germinated under water stress was less than in the control treatment, especially for the cultivar Mundo Novo. Plants of the cultivars Bourbon Vermelho and Mundo Novo developed from seeds previously germinated under water stress exhibited reduced height and fewer leaf pairs than those from the control, whereas ‘BA-10’ responded in a similar way in both treatments. Thus, the cultivars Bourbon Vermelho and Mundo Novo were more sensitive to the water stress applied in the germination phase than ‘BA-10’.