The hectoliter weight or test weight is an important wheat quality parameter for international trade and is traditionally evaluated on devices with a volume of 250, 500, 1000 or 1100 ml. At the experimental level, especially in crop improvement and in greenhouse studies, the amount of grain is often insufficient to determine hectoliter weight. The present work aimed to evaluate the feasibility of using a new 15.30 ml microchondrometer to evaluate hectoliter weight. The testing process was carried out in two steps: (i) To evaluate the need to compress wheat grains inside the microchondrometer cylinder with weights of 0, 4.4, 8.8 and 13.2 kg, and (ii) To verify the effect of different piston weights (4.0, 9.52, 17.56, 28.44 and 31.69 g). A comparison of four compression treatments and five piston weights between 250 ml and 15.30 ml chondrometers were performed by Spearman's correlation coefficient and t-test. The results showed a highly significant correlation coefficient (r=0.99) between the two apparatus and lack of significance for compression and piston weights. The 15.30 ml microchondrometer, in addition to allowing better characterization in small grain samples, will also help to discard unwanted genotypes early in the selection process.
Key words: Plant breeding, grain density, genotype screening.
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