`Moss Curled' seeds of parsley (Petroselinum crispum L.) were primed osmotically in polyethylene glycol or matrically in fine, exfoliated vermiculite at –0.5 MPa for 4 or 7 days at 20 or 30 °C with 0 or 1 mm GA3. All priming treatments stimulated and hastened germination. Matric priming resulted in greater germination (89%) than osmotic priming (83%) when seeds were primed for 7 days at 30 °C, but priming agent had no effect on germination percentage following priming at 20 °C or for 4 days. In seeds primed for 4 days at 20 or 30 °C, matric priming hastened germination more than did osmotic priming. Germination was generally less synchronous with matric than with osmotic priming. Increasing priming time from 4 to 7 days increased the rate of germination, but increased germination synchrony only when seeds were primed at 20 °C. Inclusion of 1 mm GA3 during priming had little or no effect on germination. All matric priming treatments (other than 4-day priming) were repeated to assess seedling emergence in a greenhouse (25°C day/22 °C night). Priming increased the percentage, rate and synchrony of emergence, and increased hypocotyl length at 3 weeks after planting. Priming at 30 °C with 1 mm GA3 resulted in the greatest emergence percentage, hypocotyl length, and shoot dry weight. We conclude that matric priming is a satisfactory alternative to osmotic priming of parsley seeds. Chemical name used: gibberellic acid (GA3).
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