Germination of Immature Bean Seeds

jimster(z7a MA)October 21, 2007

You don't need to understand all the biochemistry to make practical use of this information. It answers a question which pops up periodically. "Will seeds germinate if they are not fully mature when harvested?"


Plant Physiol. 1985 Aug ;78 (4):876-882 16664344

Reprogramming of Protein Synthesis from a Developmental to a Germinative Mode Induced by Desiccation of the Axes of Phaseolus vulgaris.

[My paper] Santosh Misra , J Derek Bewley

Immature seeds of Phaseolus vulgaris cv Taylor's Horticultural removed from the pod at 32 days of development do not germinate unless first subjected to desiccation. Our results show that premature drying not only redirects metabolism from a developmental to a germination program but it does so permanently, thus effecting an irreversible switch. This is shown by in vitro protein synthesis, and analysis of poly(A)(+) mRNA with a cDNA probe specific for phaseolin message. For example, the pattern of proteins synthesized in vitro by the mRNA fraction from fresh and prematurely dried axes show strong similarities; on the other hand, the mRNA population from rehydrated axes code for a different set of proteins. Also, the message for phaseolin is preserved following the normal maturation process and premature desiccation of seeds. Following rehydration of immature seeds at the desiccation-tolerant stage, this message is no longer detectable in the axes.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

O.K., I'll be the dummy. Just what is a tired, over-worked mind supposed to conclude with that information?
It sounds like one can dry seeds at an earlier stage than usual and still have them germinate. I hope- yes?
And thanks for researching this.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 8:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jimster(z7a MA)

Don't give up on that over-worked mind yet. You interpretted the post perfectly.

I have to admit that I wasn't researching that topic at all. I hit on it while researching horticultural beans. Is it alright if I take the thanks anyway? :-)


    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 8:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fliptx(Houston 9)

I wonder if a dessicant (like silica) is used or do they just let the seeds air-dry? I've tried to dry immature seeds before and they ended up moldy, but I don't know if that was the high water content of the seed or the high water content of my climate.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 9:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You deserve thanks simply because you took the time to share the information, jimster.
My method for drying immature seeds requires wire racks,a fan,an air-conditioned room and patience.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 5:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oops. Not immature seeds, but mature, ripe but still "greenish". Surely someone can say this better than I can.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 5:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
keking(z6 TN)

There has been quite a lot of research on the use of immature seeds. In many cases the resulting plants are smaller than is usual for the strain, and more fruitful. In a sense, the plants start out older ... or at least with a shortened juvenile period.

Van Mons made a point of collecting unripe pears, then letting them rot (or ferment) before sowing the seeds. In this way he shortened the juvenile period (time from seed to fruiting trees) substantially. Some of his improved pears flowered at just 4 years.

Botanical Abstracts 7(2): 206 (March, 1921)
Kidd, Franklin, And Cyril West. The role of the seed-coat in relation to the germination of immature seed. Ann. Bot. 34: 439-445. 1920. "The germination of unripe mustard seeds and peas from which the seed-coats had been removed was compared with that of intact unripe seeds and with that of ripe seeds. It was found that the removal of the testa accelerated germination, terminated the dormant period and increased the percentage of germination. It is concluded that the presence of the testa is largely responsible for the dormant period when attempts are made to germinate unripe seeds, and evidence is presented to show that the effect is due to the living testa limiting the gaseous exchange of the embryo.

Old seeds also have their uses, so I made a combined bibliography.


Here is a link that might be useful: Old Seeds / Unripe Seeds

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 6:44PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
New raised bed garden
I'm creating a raised bed garden in the front of the...
Genetics of Phaseolus lunatus
I really enjoy some of the colorful pole limas, but...
Strange Pea problem - predator or what?
Hi. Last year, for the first time, my healthy green...
Margaret Best Greasy Cut Short
These took 66 days to the first picking. I planted...
2015 Growing season
I've just been going through my stash making a list...
aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™