2019 Volume 88 Issue 2 Pages 245-252
This study was conducted to evaluate the influence of fruit maturity and postharvest storage on the physiological qualities of chili seeds during development. Two types of chili were used (ancho and guajillo). Fruits were harvested at 40, 60, 80, 100, 120 and 140 days after anthesis (daa) and stored for 0, 7 and 14 days after harvest (dah). The moisture content of guajillo seeds throughout development decreased from 86 to 17%, while ancho maintained moisture at 47% at 80 dda. It was confirmed that precocious harvest (40 daa) was not beneficial to the physiological quality of chili seeds, even when it was associated with 14 dah. Germinability was correlated with electrical conductivity (R = −0.76): Ancho seeds germinated starting from 472.5 μS·cm−1·g−1 and guajillo seeds from 679.3 μS·cm−1·g−1. In fruits harvested 80 daa, 14 dah was essential to ensure the physiological quality of seeds in both types of chilies: mean germination was above 93%, and seed vigor was higher (germination after accelerated aging and mean germination speed were more than 90% and 5.6 radicle d−1, respectively). Seeds harvested 120 daa were of high quality, and post-harvest storage of fruits was not necessary. Expression of two late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins was detected in both types of chilies: the first synthesis (65 kDa) occurred 80 daa, and the second (50 kDa) occurred 120 daa and this was directly related to the maximal physiological quality of chili seeds.