How does sucrose affect the germination rate of seeds?

beaner2April 6, 2010

How does sucrose affect the germination rate of broad bean seeds and how?

I've read about the osmosis, (although vague about it) but does that also affect it from seed (not seedling).

Will different concentrations affect the germination rate of a broad bean seed?

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Well, this actually is still being studied by many different scientists. But, studies thus far have shown that fatty seeds, such as beans, produce sucrose at a rapid rate during germination naturally through an enzyme that converts the fatty acids to sucrose.

The sucrose is then converted (through several other metabolic processes) into a 3-Carbon fragment which enters into the glycolytic cycle to be converted to glucose for the plant/seed to use.

Since the enzyme and the fatty acids are already present in the seeds of beans, the concentration of sucrose would be dependent upon the bean seed itself. The more fatty acids present, the higher the conversion rate to sucrose.

As far as germination rate being affected, I have not found any studies through the databases I use to state that overall germination rate is reduced or increased by additions of sucrose or removal of sucrose. My educated guess would be to say that germination rates are only affected by the amount of the enzymes present. Again, that is just an educated guess.

As water enters the seed the enzymes are activated. This is the initial start of the conversion process. So it would be safe to say that a lower concentration of water would affect the germination rate rather than a concentration of sucrose.

I am not sure if this answers your question or not entirely, but I hope it helps in some way.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 9:12AM
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Thank you so much, it has helped me greatly. I have been doing some research but I have not found any information. Maybe my research wasn't deep enough...
Again, thank you so much for your help!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 8:37PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

This seems similar to malting of barley to produce maltose. Are they analogous? Is the sprouting of beans ever used for the production of sucrose?


    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 9:46PM
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Both the barley and the broad bean produce the maltose initially. The difference is, naturally germinating the broad bean the maltose is converted from the fatty acids into sucrose which gets converted again and so on. The malting of barley, on the other hand, is an actual process in which the barley is forced to germinate ...causing the enzymes to activate and maltose to be formed....and then the barley is forced to stop germination in order for the maltose to be "harvested". The germinating barley is actually dried at a high temperature so the maltose is "trapped" in state within the barley seed.

As far as your question on the production of sucrose.....let me make sure I am understanding you right.

Are you wanting to know if the sprouting of beans would or could be used to produce the sucrose we call table sugar? As in the malting process?

If so, interesting question! I have read somewhere, at some point in time, about a study I believe in Nigeria that was conducted on using the malting process on soybeans. If I recall right, the protein content was higher in malted soybeans and there was an increase on soluble sugars as well. I can't wrap my head around which database I saw that. If I can find the article again I will let you know. comes down to yes, the malting process has been done on beans (at least a few have) and increases in sugars can happen. However, I do not recall anyone researching the "harvesting" of the sugars such as sucrose under this condition. I don't believe they are traditionally malted for commercial consumption at this time. But don't quote me on that! LOL I would think that since there is a distinct time for the malting process to occur we can successfully "malt" grains. I am not sure if the distinct time for the conversion to sucrose has ever been studied.

Would be an interesting project I would think.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 4:32AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

You understood my question perfectly, agrigirl. It was nice of you to get up at 4:00 am to post that reply. ;-)


    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 9:21AM
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Glad I understood the question. Actually I am surprised I had any brain power left at the wee hours of the morning. As you can tell the source had eluded me. I was up anyway working on some graduate studies. We have 4 weeks left and I have so much to get done within the next 3 weeks. Still have plenty to do. But, my father has been ill and will be having surgery either next week or the week after so I have been forcing myself to stay up late and get everything done in the next week that is due within the next 3 weeks so I can concentrate on my dad. Jumping on here, gave me a little something else to think about besides homework and my father. So, I was happy to respond at any hour! LOL

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 10:15PM
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Agrigirl, can see you are busy and have a family situation as well. My best wishes to you on both, hope your dad gets better.

Want to ask you though, do you think I should wait for warm weather to plant some seeds I have that might be apios americana? Or can I plant them now?

Our last frost date is about a month off in mid May. We have been having warm days and cool nights. I have a brick enclosure planted with potatoes, and think I might slip an apios seed into each corner.

I'll be keeping it well watered for the potatoes, and covered with straw, and will be digging all the soil out in the fall, so it looks like the best place for them. It will probably be cooler than the large black plastic pot, actually a cattle feed container with drilled base, that I was going to use.

Also, might apios not like being planted with potatoes?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 10:53PM
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First, if you are unsure about the seeds actually being apios, then I would plant them in a small (3 or 4 inch) pot to germinate. Once you have determined they are indeed apios then you can transplant them. But, even if you know they are apios I would do the same.

Protect them until your last frost has passed. Then you can transplant them to the garden where you want them. It takes them awhile to germinate and grow usually about 1-3 months. BUT, if you scar the seed just above the hilum and pre-soak for approximately 3 hours in tepid water, this will increase your germination rate. (Don't cut too deep, a simple shallow cut should suffice) - This is the same method I use for the Apios priceana.

Using the 4 inch pot will also allow your plant to establish a root system before you place it in the ground. It should have vegetative growth from April through November and flower from June - September. If you are lucky enough to have a non-sterile variety (given you have seeds I would say yours is not sterile), you should be able to collect seeds from it between September and October.

They should be fine growing with your potatoes.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 12:28PM
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