Health and physiological quality of 'Menina Brasileira' squash seeds.
The objective of this study was to evaluate and correlate the health and physiological qualities of seeds of squash (Cucurbita moschata) cv. Menina Brasileira. We evaluated two squash seedlots produced in the agroecological system and four seed lots produced in the conventional system with and without chemical treatment. The seed lots were submitted to health tests with freezing, germination and vigour, following Blotter test methodology (first count, germination speed, accelerated ageing and seedling emergence tests). The results from the health and physiological tests indicated a difference between seed lots from different origins: the agroecological lots showed the highest incidence of fungi and the conventional lots without chemical treatment showed the highest physiological potential. Fusarium oxysporum, Alternaria alternata, Cladosporium cucumerinum, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium digitatum, Rhizopus stolonifer and Phoma terrestris were found to be associated with seeds. The health quality did not interfere with the physiological quality of 'Menina Brasileira' seeds.