The LERCAFE test consists in immersing coffee seeds in an active chlorine solution, which reacts with the seeds’ endosperm, thus staining the viable parts dark green. The goal was to adapt the LERCAFE methodology to coffee seeds and assess the isoenzymatic profile of seeds subjected to the test. Two experiments were conducted, the first with adequacy of the LERCAFE test methodology, and the second experiment adequacy of the LERCAFE test methodology with the content of active chlorine quantified. A completely randomized design was used, with four replications of 50 seeds in a factorial scheme 4x4 (4 cultivars and 4 treatments of LERCAFE test). In the first experiment, it was possible to sort the cultivars into two quality levels by means of the treatments at 2.5% for 3 h, 3.5% for 2 h and 3 h. In the second experiment, it was found that the test enables determining the coffee seeds’ physiological potential by using 2 and 3% active chlorine for 5 and 3 h, respectively. The coffee seeds subjected to LERCAFE test show changes in the activity of esterase, malate dehydrogenase, superoxide dismutase, catalase and alcohol dehydrogenase enzymes, and the activation or deactivation of these enzyme systems vary with the concentration and immersion time in the solution of active chlorine.
Key words: Viability, sodium hypochlorite, Coffea arabica.
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