Abstract

Some of the recommended tests to evaluate physiological quality of seed with increased accuracy cannot be commonly practiced due to the high costs of equipment From the selection of seed obtained at the “Centro de Genética del Colegio de Postgraduados in Montecillo, México”, various laboratory trials were conducted to obtain higher precision and economic efficiency that would allow for artificial ageing tests. Maize seed from the open pollinated variety “Huamantla” with 91 % germination was placed over a wire mesh in metal pots, glass jars and plastic boxes of various sizes. Distilled water was added to each of these containers leaving an open space between the water and the seeds. The air tight containers were placed In both a drying oven and a germination chamber, calibrated to 42+/- 1C for 96 hours. The Interior environment was assumed to approach high levels of relative humidity (85-100%). The results demonstrated a lowering of germination from 1 to 82% depending on treatment. In this sense the plastic box treatment (9.5 x 8.0 x 4.5 cm) placed in the germinator was more efficient with a reduction in germination of 82% and the metal pot placed In the drying oven resulted In being less efficient (1 to 5%) respectively. It was also observed that seeds placed in the plastic boxes absorbed more moisture than the metal boxes which explains the Increased deterioration found for the latter.