Knowing the operation of seeds is vital for any worker in the agricultural sector. It is the main method of reproduction and those that will ensure that crops are subsequently produced. We must differentiate three phases in the germination process of the seeds: Germination in itself and stages of seed growth.
When the seeds have completed their development in the mother plant, they are “at rest” until the appropriate conditions are met to germinate. The variability of this state can be a consequence of unfavorable environmental conditions. It is called quiescence; or even of the seed itself, or also known as dormancy. Keep reading: GERMINATING SEEDS PAPER TOWEL METHOD.
For the physiological mechanisms of germination to begin, it is necessary that the entry of water into the seed, a process known as ambition, occurs under optimal conditions of temperature, oxygenation, and illumination. In the field of agriculture, it is called “germination” of the seed when the plant emerges and develops.
Stages of seed growth
It is considered the first stage of the process and, as we have commented previously, it is the one in which the water begins to enter the seed from the outside. It is necessary that it hydrates. The time required for each species is very variable. It can take from a few hours, a few minutes, or even to its previous manipulation so that the imbrication takes effect.
When the water has already impregnated the whole seed, the metabolic processes are activated. However, dehydration could occur if external conditions cause it. This does not disable the seeds, as they could rehydrate and restart the germination.
First stage: Germination
When the hydration has taken effect, we enter the germination phase as such, in which the seeds begin to absorb a smaller amount of water. The metabolism that will trigger the growth of the plant is activated.
Second stage: Plant growth
Once the activity of the metabolic process has increased, the plant begins to emerge from the root through the seminal covers. This phase is irreversible because the seed has already begun to grow and now will depend on its maintenance, and otherwise the seed will die.
The development of the plant is complex and very different depending on the species, so it is convenient to know well the characteristics of what is planted and consider the energy expenditure that will entail.
Third stage: Water and the human factor
Excess water or insufficiency can cause germination problems. We must take into account the needs of each plant and the optimal conditions for the germination of their seeds, such as temperature.
The water deficit of the seeds varies according to the species and can cause the speed of germination much slower or even to be infected by fungi. However, in case of exceeding with water, we prevent oxygen from reaching the embryo and germination does not occur. Even if it hydrates too quickly, it could alter the germination mechanism itself, breaking the embryonic axis or plant the settlement.
Fourth stage: External conditions
The temperature can also alter the germination of the seeds, especially in tropical and subtropical species. For example, if the soybean is imbued at less than 5ºC, it could not only slow down the growth of the plant, but the roots develop abnormally.
Other elements, such as climatic variations (frosts, droughts, torrential rains …)or the acidity of the land must be considered before beginning the germination process of the plants.Tags: seed growth, Stages of seed growth