Maturity is not only critical for vigour and other seed quality characteristics but also impacts the subsequent plant performance. If these impacts on the subsequent plant are long lasting, the potential to produce vigorous, mature seed may also be affected. This scenario lends itself to the concept of seed maturity memory (SMM) – an understanding of how seed maturity may impact subsequent generations of plants and the vigour of the seeds with different maturity they produce. This study aimed to assess the existence and perpetuation of SMM in peanut, with an emphasis on early seedling vigour. Field physiological measurements and bioassay assessments were carried out on the second generation (G2) and third generation (G3) of peanut seeds with distinct parental maturity backgrounds. Our results suggested maintaining mature seed in both prior and offspring generations helped maintain high seed vigour in subsequent generations. The SMM effects varied between cultivars, with TUFRunner™ ‘727’ exhibiting SMM, whereas FloRun™ ‘107’ did not show SMM in the effects from first generation (G1) to G2 maturities. Overall, a seed resulting from parental plants established from immature seed somewhere in their pedigree was less vigorous than that maintained mature seeds in their pedigree. However, patterns of possible SMM were not always consistent, which could be partially attributed to differing environmental conditions each generation of seed experienced during development. These results highlight the importance of maintaining mature seeds in agricultural production and bring up the issue of ensuring seed maturity consistency during stress memory research assessing vigour characteristics.
Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2021
Keywords: peanut; production; seed maturity; seed vigour; seedling vigour traits; stress memory