There are many ground covers native to Korea. Liriope spicata is very promising for landscaping purposes due to its waxy and dark-green foliage fragrant and pink flowers, as well as fruit. However, seeds harvested during late fall do not germinate at all if they are sown in spring. Thus, series of experiments were conducted to undestand the physiological mechanism of dormancy breaking and germination of Liriope spicata Lour. seeds and to determine the effective methods for enhancing seed germination. Fruit were harvested in October through December. Depulped seeds germinated rapidly, indicating that one or more inhibitors may be present in the pulps of fruit and/or seeds. GA3, NaOCl, NaOH, and H2SO4 treatments and dry cold treatment had no effect on germination, whereas wet, cold seed treatment for at least 30 days promoted germination up to 75% within 15 days. Optimum conditions for germination was continuous dark and 25/20 °C alternate temperature conditions. Extracts from pulps and seeds showed a strong inhibition effects on the germination of lettuce seeds, indicating that germination inhibitors are present in pulp and seeds. Since extracts from naked seeds did not show inhibition, inhibitory substances are thought to be present in pulp and seedcoat. Pulp and seeds were extracted with water and methanol and autoclaved at 115 °C, followed by bioassay experiments. Germination inhibitors were found water soluble and heat stable by series of bioassay experiments. Diluted extracts 4 to 8 times still maintained inhibitory effects. Optimum seed harvesting time was from 22 Nov. to 1 Dec., where seed germination was high without additional seed treatments. Total phenolic compounds and ABA contents of pulp and seeds decreased by wet cold seed treatment. Changes in total phenolic compounds and ABA in from October through December were correlated with germination during the seed development. When contents of total phenolic compounds and ABA were high, seeds did not germinate at all, while low contents resulted in good seed germination.
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