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Germination of Immature Bean Seeds

Posted by jimster z7a MA (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 21, 07 at 18:50

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Germination of Immature Bean Seeds

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.

RE: Germination of Immature Bean Seeds

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? :-)


RE: Germination of Immature Bean Seeds

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.

RE: Germination of Immature Bean Seeds

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.

RE: Germination of mature bean seeds

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

RE: Germination of Immature Bean Seeds

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

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