572 PB 041 SEED COAT STRUCTURE RELATED TO GERMINATION IN EASTERN REDBUD (CERCIS CANADENSIS L.)

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40546

Seed coat anatomy in the hilar region was examined in dry, imbibed and germinating seeds of Eastern redbud. A discontinuous area was observed between macrosclereid cells in the palisade layer of the seed coat which formed a hilar slit. A symmetrical cap was formed during germination as the seed coat separated along the hilar slit and was hinged by the macrosclereids in the area of the seed coat opposite to the hilar slit. The discontinuity observed in the palisade layer was the remnant of the area traversed by the vascular trace between the funiculus and the seed coat of the developing ovule. There were no apparent anatomical differences in the hilar region of the seed coat between dormant and non-dormant imbibed seeds. However, the thickened layer of mesophyll cells of the seed coat in this region and the capacity of the endospetm to stretch along with the elongating radicle may contribute to maintaining dormancy in redbud seeds.

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