Germination and Embryo Anatomy of Osmotically Primed Parsley Schizocarps

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 University of Delaware, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Newark, DE 19717-1303

`Moss Curled' parsley [Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Nyman ex. A.W. Hill] schizocarps were osmotically primed in polyethylene glycol at -1.0 MPa for 7 days at 20 °C. The smaller of the two mericarps within a parsley schizocarp had lower germination percentage, but similar rate and synchrony of germination. Osmotic priming increased germination percentage, rate, and synchrony, irrespective of mericarp half. This promotive effect of priming on germination was associated with embryonic advancement as indicated by a doubling of radicle and cotyledon volumes, without changes in lengths of these organs. Periclinal divisions of the lateral expansion meristem, distinct in primed radicles but indistinct in nonprimed radicles, led to radial alignment of the cortical cells and a doubling of cortical volume and thereby increased radicle volume. Each embryonic cotyledon of primed mericarps had three distinct procambial bundles that differentiated along most of the cotyledon length, while nonprimed cotyledons had from zero to three that differentiated only a short way into the cotyledon. Priming increased coyledonary procambium length by 5-fold and volume by 11-fold. Increased embryonic growth due to priming was associated with greater endosperm depletion adjacent to the embryo. The schizocarps frequently separated or partially separated into component mericarps during priming, indicating a weakening of pericarp tissue along the commissural suture and possibly elsewhere.

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