Osmotic conditioning of onion seeds: I. germination effects

Onion seed lots (varieties Aurora and Petrolini) of different vigor levels, were osmoconditioned using aerated aqueous solutions of KNO3 and PEG at 20°C. In addition three soaking times (0, 24 and 48 hours) were evaluated. Following each treatment, seeds were dried in an oven at 30°C until they reached initial moisture levels. Then seeds were divided into two portions. One batch was stored in a dessecador for six months, while the other was immediately evaluated. Results showed that the rate of germination and germination under stress conditions increased in osmoconditioned onion seeds. Treatment with KNO3 for 24 hours presented the best performance. Osmotic conditioning may reverse the process of natural aging of onion seeds. Osmoconditioned onion seeds maintained their physiologic quality up to six months of storage.

Allium cepa; priming; viability; quality; storage

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