Treatment of soybean seeds with mechanical damage: Effects on their physiological potential
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Mechanical damage is a serious problem for the physiological potential of soybean seeds, especially when combined with chemical treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chemical treatment on the physiological potential of soybean seeds with increasing levels of mechanical damage. Soybean seeds (cv. M6410 IPRO) of two lots with differences in vigor were subjected to five levels of mechanical damage (zero, one, two, three, and four impacts) brought about in a controlled manner. After characterization of the effect of the impacts on seed physical integrity (X-ray, X-ray microtomography, tetrazolium, and sodium hypochlorite), the seeds were subjected to four combinations of chemical treatment with fungicides (carbendazim and thiram), insecticides (imidacloprid and thiodicarb), micronutrients (cobalt and molybdenum), polymer (Peridiam®), and drying powder (Talkum Gloss®). Seed germination and vigor were evaluated sixty days after chemical treatment. A progressive increase in mechanical damage, especially that which causes cracks in the seed coat, reduces the physiological potential of soybean seeds and increases their sensitivity to the phytotoxic effect of the chemical treatment. The physical integrity of the seed coat is crucial for the success of technologies used for chemical seed treatment.