Mechanism of endocarp-imposed constraints of germination of Lannea microcarpa seeds

O. Neya, F.A. Hoekstra, E.A. Golovina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lannea microcarpa, a multipurpose tree species from the dry African savanna, sheds seeds that often display inhibition of germination. The underlying mechanism was investigated using seeds processed from fully matured fruits collected from natural stands in Burkina Faso. Germination of fresh seeds was variable (16¿28%), while they did not germinate after drying and rehydration. Mechanical scarification of the endocarp at the proximal end of the seeds increased germination to 83¿94%. Scarification on the distal end led to delayed radicle emergence through the produced hole in c. 40% of the seeds. The endocarp was permeable to water and respiratory gases. Increased water content in scarified seeds was associated with radicle extension during germination. Intact and scarified non-germinated seeds displayed a moderate rate of respiration with respiratory quotient (RQ) values of c. 1. Respiration increased and RQ decreased to c. 0.7 with radicle emergence. Ethylene evolution peaked in both intact and scarified seeds at the beginning of incubation and then decreased to low values. Inhibition of ethylene production by 1¿5 mM 2-amino-ethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) caused only a partial decrease of germination of the scarified seeds. Intact non-germinated seeds gradually lost viability during incubation at 30°C, but could be rescued by delayed scarification before day 15 of incubation. It is concluded that radicle emergence in dry L. microcarpa seeds is inhibited only mechanically. The mechanical properties of the endocarp are attributed to irreversible structural changes of the lignin¿hemicellulose complex, which occur during drying.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalSeed Science Research
Volume18
Issue number01
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • rhus species anacardiaceae
  • physical dormancy
  • ftir microspectroscopy
  • desiccation tolerance
  • ethylene
  • spectroscopy
  • metabolism
  • embryos
  • sativa

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