Mangaba (Hancornia speciosa Gomes) is a native fruit to Brazil of great importance in its areas of occurrence. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the physiological behavior of mangaba seeds submitted to desiccation. The survey was conducted in the Laboratory of Seeds Analyses of Embrapa Coastal Tablelands, Aracaju, SE, Brazil. The experimental design was completely randomized with five replicates of 25 seeds each. Seeds were submitted to treatments consisting of different drying times: 0 (control treatment), 24, 48 and 72 h. Seeds were placed in an oven with air circulation and temperature of 30ºC. The water content of seeds was determined and the germination test was used to evaluate the germination percentage, speed germination index and length and dry weight of seedlings. The seed water content decreased as a function of the drying periods, reaching 13% when seeds were submitted to 72 h of drying. Seeds submitted to drying periods up to 33 h showed decreased germination percentage, dry weight and length of seedlings; the germination rate index and plant growth were also affected after 34 h of drying. Drying periods longer than 34 h impair the physiological quality of mangaba seeds, affecting germination and vigor.
Key words: Hancornia speciosa Gomes, desiccation, water content.
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