Desiccation tolerance of four seedlots from Euterpe edulis Mart.
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In order to identify the desiccation tolerance of E. edulis seeds, four fruitlots were collected from the Campinas Agronomic Institute Palmae collection, located at Ubatuba, state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and taken in moisture-proof containers to the College of Agriculture in Botucatu, state of Sao Paulo. There, the fruits were shelled and the seeds were dried, either under silica gel conditions or in a drying chamber. The effects of dehydration were evaluated by measurements of the germination, embryo protrusion, germinative button, plumule, speed of emergence, seedling length, seed dry matter and water content. Differences among seedlots and between harvest season for most of the traits were observed. Euterpe edulis seedlots seem to tolerate water content reductions until 39% without significant reduction in germination and vigor. Below this value, most of the evaluated traits were negatively affected. Total loss of germination was observed whenever seed water content was reduced to values below 21%.