A seed treatment to prevent shoot apical meristem arrest in Brassica oleracea

J. de Jonge, Fernando D. Goffman, J. Kodde, G.C. Angenent, S.P.C. Groot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Brassica oleracea plants can suffer from shoot apical meristem arrest, when sown at cold temperatures, giving rise to so-called blind seedlings that stop development and the formation of new leaves. We developed a seed treatment that strongly reduces the occurrence of this meristem arrest in kohlrabi and cabbage seedlings. The developed treatment involves soaking the seeds in water for one hour at 22 °C before sowing at 0–2 °C. The reduction of susceptibility to induction of shoot apical meristem arrest could be maintained when seeds were dried after the pre-soaking treatment. A strong reduction in susceptibility could also be obtained by incubating the seeds for four hours with a limited amount of water to 20% moisture content. However, when the hydration was performed at seed moisture levels between 30 and 50%, the sensitivity to shoot apical meristem arrest was regained upon drying. The developed treatment to prevent the occurrence of shoot apical meristem arrest can easily be upscaled for implementation at the commercial level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-80
JournalScientia Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2018


  • Blind plants
  • Blindness
  • Seed quality
  • Seed soaking


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