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Information about Dormancy

Published on January 7, 2008

Author: Nikita


Seed Dormancy of Trees and Shrubs :  Seed Dormancy of Trees and Shrubs by Jill Barbour Germination Specialist USDA Forest Service National Tree Seed Laboratory Organic Seed Dormancy :  Organic Seed Dormancy Endogenous embryo characteristic prevents germination-epicotyl, hypocotyl, radical Exogenous characteristic of structures - seed coats, fruit walls, including endosperm or perisperm prevents germination Types of Seed Dormancy:  Types of Seed Dormancy Physiological Morphological Morphophysiological Physical Physical & physiological Chemical Mechanical Physiological Dormancy:  Physiological Dormancy Nondeep Intermediate Deep Causes of Physiological Dormancy:  Causes of Physiological Dormancy Covering restricts oxygen Inhibitors in coverings Embryo cannot break through physical barriers Endosperm restrict embryo growth Interaction between embryo and covering Abies alba, Castanea sativa, Corylus avellana, Euonymus europaeus, Juglans nigra, Juglans regia, Juniperus, Prunus avium,Rhamnus frangula, Vaccinium myrtillus Carpinus requires warm followed by cold stratification Elaeagnus umbellata- chemicals shortened prechilling & increase germination Nondeep Physiological Dormancy:  Nondeep Physiological Dormancy Germinate over a narrow range of temperatures Excised embryos usually grow Broken by short periods of prechilling Require germination temperature above 15°C Broken by chemicals- potassium nitrate, thiourea, kinetin, ethylene, gibberellins Light required for germination Arbutus unedo –can germinate in dark Ulmus glabra- no prechill Vaccinium- long period of light required, GA reduces length of light Intermediate Physiological Dormancy:  Intermediate Physiological Dormancy Excised embryos will grow As much as 6 months prechilling needed Gibberellins, kinetin, thiourea can shorten prechilling requirement Acer negundo, Acer pseudoplatanus, Acer saccharum, Corylus avellana, Fraxinus americana, Fraxinus pennsylvanica Fagus sylvatica – ethylene accelerated and increased germination at 15°C, at 5°C chemicals no better than water soak on germination, GA3 increased germination of unchilled seeds at 15°C, 10 weeks prechill negate chemical effect (Seed Sci 2004, p21-33) Deep Physiological Dormancy:  Deep Physiological Dormancy Excised embryos do not grow or produce abnormal seedlings (Prunus will) Long prechill requirement Chemicals do not affect germination of intact seeds Sorbus aucuparis – secondary dormancy induced above 20°C, germinates best at 1-3°C Acer platanoides, Acer tartaricum, Malus domestica, Prunus persica – 90 days prechill Prunus mahaleb – 100 days prechill 3 to 5°C best germination temperature for Prunus mahaleb, Prunus padus Morphological Dormancy:  Morphological Dormancy Morphology of embryo not developed Temperate families- Apiaceae, Ranunculaceae Tropical families – Annonacease, Arecaceae, Degeneriaceae, Lactoridaceae, Monimiaceae, Myrsticaceae, Winteraceae Morphophysiological Dormancy :  Morphophysiological Dormancy Underdeveloped embryos Embryo growth and dormancy break required Embryo grows first then dormancy broken or both at same time Vary warm, moist and cold stratification periods Viburnum- epicotyl dormancy, warm for radical then cold for epicotyl Fraxinus excelsior, Magnolia acuminata Physical Dormancy:  Physical Dormancy Present in 15 angiosperm families Large embryos with food reserve in embryo not endosperm Hilum impermeable in Cercis siliquastrum Impermeable in seed coats- micropyle, hilum, chalazal area, impermeable palisade cells Embryo is not dormant Air drying during development intensifies hardness Cytisus scoparius – dry heat(65°C) for 2 minutes, or acid for 30 minutes Crataegus in warm climates only endocarp dormant Robinia pseudoacacia, Laburnum anagroides Physical & Physiological Dormancy :  Physical & Physiological Dormancy Embryo dormancy usually broken first Germinate at low temperatures (5, 10, 15°C) Prechilling breaks physiological dormancy Hot water, acid, or mechanical scarification effective before prechilling Cercis siliquastrum – 16 weeks prechilling = 77% germination(Jordan source)(2004 Seed Sci p 255-260) Cersis canadensis, Cotinus coggygria, Cotinus obovatus, Sambuscus Tilia- endosperm is inhibitor, excised embryos grow Crataegus – 3 month periods of cold-warm-cold-warm-cold=55% germination, apomixis common Chemical Dormancy:  Chemical Dormancy Inhibitors in embryo, endosperm, seed coat Leaching or seed coat removal Seed may have physiological dormancy too so need prechilling Abscisic acid inhibits germination when applied exogenously Nickel (20 mg/liter) increased germination of Picea abies Mechanical Dormancy :  Mechanical Dormancy Stony endocarps Embryos with deep physiological dormancy -require long prechilling Anacardiaceae, Cornaceae, Juglandaceae, Nyssaceae, Oleaceae Cornus sanguinea – 94% germination at 12 weeks prechilling, 81% germination at 12 weeks warm + 12 weeks cold stratification(2004 Seed Sci p 1-4) Cornus mas- 18 week warm + 15-18 weeks cold stratification (Tylkowski 1991) Cornaceae not morphologically dormant Elaeagnus angustifolia – snip both ends Rosaceae - warm maturation temperature prior to collection reduced dormancy Mattoral Germination Conditions:  Mattoral Germination Conditions Mean optimum germination temperature for trees about 21°C – during cool season when soil is moist Mean optimum germination temperature for shrubs about 19°C Shrub seed germinate in light and dark No shrub seed has morphological dormancy (underdeveloped embyros) Boreal & North Temperate Subalpine:  Boreal & North Temperate Subalpine Pinus cembra- 90-270 days of prechilling No morphological, morphophysiological, physical dormancy in species Pinus mugo, Picea abies – nondormant Jill’s Observations:  Jill’s Observations Small seeds usually from mesic areas, sometimes no endosperm(Ulmus), Sequoia, Sequoiadendron, Picea, Populus Large seeds from xeric areas – Pinus edulis Embryo size indicator of evolutionary development of Angiosperms, Magnolia precursor for Angiosperms with primitive embryo Alpine seeds not very dormant, but may have undeveloped embryos, poor pollination = many empty seeds, short time for development of reproductive structures Dry summers, cold winters – many dormancy mechanisms to prevent germination, Juniperus

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