Seedcoat Structure Related to Germination in Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis L.)

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546

The seedcoat anatomy in the hilar region was examined in dry, imbibed and germinating seeds of Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis L.). A discontinuous area was observed between macrosclereid cells in the palisade layer of the seedcoat which formed a hilar slit. A cap was formed during germination as the seedcoat separated along the hilar slit and was hinged by the macrosclereids in the area of the seedcoat 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 seedcoat of the developing ovule. There were no apparent anatomical differences in the hilar region of the seedcoat between dormant and nondormant imbibed seeds. However, the thickened mesophyll of the seedcoat in this region and the capacity of the endosperm to stretch along with the elongating radicle may contribute to maintaining dormancy in redbud seeds.

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