Developmental Changes in Seeds of Loblolly Pine

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Mature seed weight of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) averaged 25 mg (dry weight), of which 55.0% was seedcoat, 38.5% megagametophyte, and 6.4% embryo. Fatty acid (FA) content (dry-weight basis) was 17.5% for whole seed, 0.4% for seedcoat, 36.2% for megagametophyte, and 51.2% for embryo. Distribution of FAs (16:0; 18:0; 18:1; 18:2; 18:3 Δ5,9,12; 18:3 Δ9,12,15; 20:0; and 20:3) differed in seedcoat, megagametophyte, and embryo, but 18:2 was the predominant FA in all tissues. Seed development was analyzed for 110 days from 25 July, the year following pollination. Embryos could be macroscopically observed on or about day 30. Embryo dry weight, length, and FA accumulation increased until about day 50 and then remained constant. Embryo density decreased from day 30 to 50 and then stabilized at ≈1.0366 g·ml-1 or 10% sucrose equivalent. Excised zygotic embryos did not germinate in vitro until after day 51; germination increased linearly after this date, reaching 80% by day 72.

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