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Seed production environment and storage longevity of japonica rices (Oryza sativa L.)

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Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
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Biological & environmental
Kameswara Rao, N.; Jackson, M.T.

Changes in seed dry weight, moisture content and germinability of three japonica cultivars of rice during development and maturation in the dry season (November-May) field multiplication at Los Baños, Philippines were compared with those in a cooler controlled environment (24°/18°C). Under field conditions, maximum dry weight accumulation, which indicates mass maturity, was attained 18-21 days after flowering in all cultivars. In the cooler environment however, mass maturity was achieved 21 days after flowering in Fujisaka 5 and Minehikare, and 28 days in Shuang cheng nuo. The moisture content of the seeds at mass maturity varied between 28 and 35% among cultivars in the two environments. Although the ability of seeds to germinate differed in early harvests (7 and 14 days) among cultivars and across two environments, germination of the mature seeds was similar in all. There were no significant differences in potential longevity of the seeds harvested at 28, 35 and 42 days after flowering within each cultivar, which was determined by the germination of seeds that had been hermetically stored with 15% moisture content at 35°C. Differences among cultivars within each seed production environment were also not significant. However, potential longevity of the seeds harvested from the cooler environment was higher than those from the field, which confirmed that japonica cultivars which evolved under temperate regions are sensitive to warmer seed production environments. However, the magnitude of differences in potential seed longevity between the two environments was not high. This indicates that the seed production environment during the dry season at Los Baños is not harsh for japonica cultivars.