J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2009, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (11): 1002-1007.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2009.00875.x

• Plant-environmental Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Dehydration Kinetics of Embryonic Axes from Desiccation-sensitive Seeds: An Assessment of Descriptive Models

Tobias M. Ntuli* and Norman W. Pammenter   

  1. School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Durban 4001, South Africa
  • Received:2008-10-14 Accepted:2009-08-25 Published:2009-11-10
  • About author: *Author for correspondence Tel: +27 31 260 3190; Fax: +27 31 260 1195; E-mail: Tobias_M_Ntuli@yahoo.co.uk


The response of desiccation-sensitive plant tissues to dehydration is significantly affected by dehydration conditions, particularly the rate of drying. Consequently it is important to be able to quantify drying rate. The aim of the study was to assess two models that have been proposed to describe drying kinetics, and thus to provide a quantification of non-linear drying rates, of embryonic axes excised from recalcitrant seeds. These models are an exponential drying time course, and a modified inverse relationship, respectively. For the six species investigated here the inverse function was generally found to fit drying data better than the exponential function under both rapid and slow drying conditions, and so is recommended. The rate of drying, under the conditions used here, was determined by axis size and possibly the nature of the axis outer coverings, rather than the water activity difference between the tissue and surrounding air.

Ntuli TM, Pammenter NW (2009). Dehydration kinetics of embryonic axes from desiccation-sensitive seeds: An assessment of descriptive models. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(11), 1002–1007.

Key words: desiccation, drying rate, recalcitrant seeds.

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