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Title: Desiccation tolerance of recalcitrant Theobroma cacao embryonic axes: The optimal drying rate and its physiological basis
Authors: Liang, Y.
Sun, W.Q. 
Keywords: Critical water potential
Desiccation sensitivity
Drying rate
Recalcitrant seed
Theobroma cacao
Water stress
Issue Date: 2000
Citation: Liang, Y.,Sun, W.Q. (2000). Desiccation tolerance of recalcitrant Theobroma cacao embryonic axes: The optimal drying rate and its physiological basis. Journal of Experimental Botany 51 (352) : 1911-1919. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Recalcitrant seed axes were reported to survive to lower water contents under fast-drying conditions. The present study was to examine the hypothesis that drying rate and dehydration duration could interact to determine desiccation tolerance through different physico-chemical mechanisms. The effect of drying rate on desiccation tolerance of Theobroma cacao seed axes at 16 °C was examined. Rapid-drying at low relative humidity (RH) and slow-drying at high RH were more harmful to cocoa axes, because electrolyte leakage began to increase and axis viability began to decrease at high water contents. Maximum desiccation tolerance was observed with intermediate drying rates at RH between 88% and 91%, indicating the existence of an optimal drying rate or optimal desiccation duration. This maximum level of desiccation tolerance for cocoa axes (corresponding to a critical water potential of -9 MPa) was also detected using the equilibration method, in which axes were dehydrated over a series of salt solutions or glycerol solutions until the equilibrium. These data confirmed that the physiological basis of the optimal drying rate is related to both mechanical stress during desiccation and the length of desiccation duration during which deleterious reactions may occur. The optimal drying rate represents a situation where combined damages from mechanical and metabolic stresses become minimal.
Source Title: Journal of Experimental Botany
ISSN: 00220957
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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