Priming Dusty Miller Seeds: Role of Aeration, Temperature, and Relative Humidity

in HortScience
William J. CarpenterOrnamental Horticulture Department, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

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Priming permits seeds to slowly imbibe water at regulated rates and to begin the initial stages of germination. Hypertonic polyethylene glycol (PEG) 8000 solutions of 1.0 and 1.2 MPa at 15C improved seed germination of dusty miller (Senecio cineraria DC.). At 0.8 MPa, germination was promoted during priming. No differences in rates, span, or total germination were found among seeds primed for 1, 2, or 3 weeks with or without aeration during priming. Germination percentages of primed and nonprimed seeds were similar at 10, 15, 20, and 25C, but 42% to 81% higher for primed seed at 30 or 35C. Priming reduced days to 50% of total germination (T50) 23% to 61%, and germination spans in days 30% to 67%. Primed seeds germinated most rapidly and uniformly at 20 and 25C. No change in total germination, T50, or germination span resulted when moisture contents of primed seeds were lowered to 7.8% or seeds were held at –80C for 7 days. Primed seed performance was unchanged after storage at 5C and 52% RH for 16 weeks.

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