Viability And Degradation Of Grain

Fungal activity inevitably leads to deterioration and loss in viability of grain to be used as seed. Whether seed death occurs directly due to fungal activity or due to degradation of key grain nutritional components is, however, unclear. Under some circumstances fungi have been shown to be key components in deterioration of viability. The grain embryo is sometimes preferentially invaded by some fungi, especially species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. In most early classical work it was demonstrated that spoilage of stored grain resulted in seed viability being rapidly reduced to practically zero. Hill and Lacey (1983) found a linear relationship between initial moisture content and percentage viability. However, few studies in the last decade have examined the detailed changes in nutritional components of grain. Thus, we are reliant on other earlier work for such information.

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