The objective of this study was to evaluate the physiological changes of pumpkin seeds during the maturation process. Thereby, the study was conducted in the municipality of Juazeiro, at the experimental area of the State University of Bahia. Seeds of the cultivar ‘Maranhão’ were harvested from fruits at regular intervals, every 10 days, from 15 to 60 days after anthesis (DAA). The experimental design was completely randomized with six treatments (15, 25, 30, 40, 50 and 60 DAA) and four repetitions. For each period, the fruits were assessed visually and average weights were determined, and the seeds extracted from fruits were evaluated for the following tests: moisture content, dry matter of the seeds, germination, electrical conductivity, field emergence, emergence speed index. The seeds reached physiological maturity at 50 days after anthesis, although the best time to begin harvesting fruit of this cultivar is between 50 to 60 DAA. At this time the seeds moisture content is low enough to allow the harvest.
Key words: Germination, harvest, seed quality.