Late seed maturation improves the preservation of seedling emergence during storage in soybean(1)
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Long-term survival during dry storage or longevity is a pre-requisite to avoid deterioration, leading to loss of vigor. Longevity is routinely evaluated by the ability to germinate after storage. It increases progressively during seed maturation, after the acquisition of desiccation tolerance. However, the capacity to germinate represents only a part of the success of crop establishment. How seed maturation affects the resistance of several traits, as vigor, associated with seedling establishment, against detenoration was evaluated dunng seed filling and post-abscission phase of soybean BRS 284 seeds. Three newphenological stages between 7.1 and 7.2 (7.1.1, 7.1.2 and 7.1.3) were introduced to capture the rapid increase in seed longevity. Germination speed started to be affected at 7-14 days after storage depending on the stages. The delay on germination increased with maturation from 7.1.3 to dry mature seeds. The time to 50% loss of elongation capacity of both organs during storage was similar to that of loss of germination. Also, it increased steadily dunng seed maturation after mass matunty and harvest matunty stages, highlighting the importance of the late phase of seed maturation for building seed vigor.