Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Allen D. Knapp


High and low stress temperatures during seed germination and seedling development limit total germination and the rate of germination and growth. Changes in polyamine (PA) concentrations in seeds of different species have been associated with germination, growth and environmental stresses such as temperature, drought, oxygen, chilling injury and osmotic conditions. Two studies were conducted to determine the effect of stress temperatures during germination and seedling development on polyamine titers in soybean seeds. Three germination temperatures, 25, 30, and 36 0C were used in the first study to evaluate their influence on changes in polyamine concentrations in soybean seeds germinated at 76 and 90 hours. The polyamines (PAs), cadaverine (Cad), putrescine (Put), spennidine (Spd), agmatine (Agm), and spermine (Spm) were quantified by HPLC using a cation exchange column and an electrochemical detector. Cad, Put, Agm, and Spd declined as the germination temperatures increased from 25 to 36 0C. Conversely, Spm increased considerably with an increase in temperature. Total germination was reduced from 97.2 to 92.5% as germination temperatures increased from 25 to 36 0C. Germination time did not affect Cad, Agm and Spm, and total germination, however, the interaction between temperature and germination time for Put and Spd concentrations was significant. In the second study, changes in PA concentrations, seedling growth, germination time (t50), fresh and dry weight, and moisture content were measured in the embryonic axis and cotyledons of soybean seeds germinated at 10 and 25 0C through six stages of germination dry seed (DS), testa split (TS), radicle and 10 mm (Ra-10), root hairs visible (RHV), secondary root primordia (SRP), and complete seedling (CS).;The concentrations of Cad and Put in the embryonic axis, were significantly higher in seeds germinated under low temperature than in seeds at 25 0C (approximately 10 and 3 fold respectively). However, this difference was not observed until the last three stages of germination. The stage of germination also influenced the levels of these polyamines. The concentrations of Cad and Put detected at the CS stage were 50 and 18 fold respectively, relative to the initial concentrations found at the DS stage. Spd levels in seeds under stress temperatures also increased, but to a lesser extent compared to Cad and Put. Differences in Spd concentrations between temperatures were observed only at the CS stage. Agm concentrations were higher at 25 than at 10 0C at SRP and CS. Spm concentrations of seeds germinated at 25 0C remained higher during the first four stages of development but at the end of germination, seeds at 10 0C had higher quantities of Spm. In the cotyledons, Polyamines tended to decline with stages of germination, regardless of the temperature. However, Agm levels increased in the cotyledons of soybean seeds. Maximum dry weight and seedling growth was found at RHV, SRP, and CS. Maximum levels of Cad and Put were also found during these stages. Spd increased with both temperatures from DS to Ra-10, thereafter, Spd levels in seeds at 10 0C continued increasing while seeds at 25 0C declined. High and low stress germination temperatures caused significant changes in polyamine concentrations, reduced germination and seedling growth of soybean seeds.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Renan Pineda Mejia



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File Size

91 pages