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J. McConnell

A local ground orchid, Spathoglottis plicata Blume, and coconut, Cocos nucifera L., were used in the classroom to teach seed germination. S. plicata, a common orchid on Guam, was utilized to demonstrate the aseptic culture of seeds under non-sterile conditions. The procedures were done in the classroom without a laminar air-flow cabinet. Nonsterile seeds were sown on growing media which were prepared without autoclaving, but by incorporating sodium hypochlorite into the media. Students had a high rate of success in germinating the orchid seeds without contamination by spraying sodium hypochlorite on the seeds. Different stages of coconut seed development were presented to students by simply cutting coconut in half. Unique features and botanical terms of coconut seed development can be taught throughout the year. Teaching materials on seed germination of the two tropical plants are being developed by print-on-demand methods.

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William J. Carpenter and Eric R. Ostmark

Abstract

Amaryllis, (Hippeastrum × hybridum Hort.) seed germination was light-independent, but temperature influenced the germination rate. Constant 25°C promoted higher total germination (86%), fewer days (8.3) to germinate, and a shorter span of days (4.3) than other constant temperatures or alternating temperatures of 25°–30°, 20°–30°, 15°–25°, 25°–35°, or 15°–35°. Exposures to 10° or 40° for 1 to 3 days during various seed germination phases reduced germination by 14% to 23% and delayed radicle emergence, but 40° for 1 to 3 days caused larger reductions in germination than comparable durations at 10°. Exposure of seeds to 10° or 40° between days 2 and 4 caused the largest reductions in total germination.

Open access

R. L. Edwards and F. J. Sundstrom

Abstract

Field emergence of Tabasco pepper (Capsicum frutescens L.) often requires 10 to 14 days even under optimum conditions. Methods to increase and accelerate Tabasco seed germination were investigated. Seed were extracted from orange and red fruit harvested at 150, 195, and 240 days from transplanting. The influence of fruit maturity on seed germination performance was significant over all harvest times. Seed extracted from red fruit had a significantly greater germination rate and final germination percentage than seed from orange fruit. Germination performance of seed extracted from red fruit harvested 150 days after transplanting was superior to that of seed harvested from orange fruit and to seed harvested later in the growing season. Results indicate that Tabasco seed extracted from red fruit responds favorably to a period of dry after ripening. A 21-day period at 25°C appears to be optimum for improving germination percentage and rate.

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Wayne L. Schrader

Three trials were conducted in 1989 to evaluate the effects of chilling, freezing, growth regulator, and acid scarification treatments on the seed germination of two artichoke varieties. Soaking seed in a 500, 1000, or 2000 ppm ethephon solution for 5 minutes significantly increased the rate and uniformity of germination. Chilling, freezing, gibberellin, and cytokinin treatments did not affect germination rate. Freezing moistened seed and acid scarification significantly delayed germination. Ethephon treatments did not affect subsequent seedling development.

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William J. Carpenter

Abstract

Temperature ranges for seed germination were determined for palm species Acoelorraphe wrightii (Griseb. & H. Wendl.) H. Wendle ex. Becc., Coccothrinax argentata (Jacq) L. H. Bailey, Sabal etonia Swingle ex Nash, and Thrinax morrisii H. Wendl. Total germination was highest with fewest days to 50% of final germination at 35°C Temperatures 5° to 10° above or below 35° frequently caused delayed, irregular, and reduced total germination. Temperatures exceeding 10° from 35° generally were inadequate for germination.

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S.M. Hum-Musser, T.E. Morelock, J.B. Murphy, and R.L. Henry

Seed germination of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is partially inhibited by a high germination temperature (35 °C). Tolerance of high germination temperatures varies widely depending on the variety used. We ascertained that seed germination of these spinach varieties was thermoinhibited at 35 °C and secondary dormancy was not induced as seeds germinated when transferred to optimum germination conditions (20 °C). Treatment with 99% oxygen and 10 ppm kinetin significantly increased germination of thermoinhibited varieties at 35 °C. During heat stress, all organisms produce heat shock proteins (HSPs), which may function as molecular chaperons, are possibly required for the development of thermotolerance, and may be crucial for cell survival during heat stress. Western blotting of SDS-PAGE gels using antibodies to various heat shock proteins indicated that spinach varieties with the highest degree of thermotolerance have higher levels of HSP expression than varieties with the lowest degree of thermotolerance during germination. These results suggest that thermotolerance could be further improved, either through a breeding program or possibly by genetic engineering.

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Bing-Rui Ni and Kent J. Bradford

Cell growth models were applied to characterize the response of seed germination, based upon the timing of radicle emergence, to y and ABA. Using probit analysis, three basic parameters can be derived to describe the population characteristics of seed lots. In the response of seed germination to osmotic stress, these three parameters are the “hydrotime constant” (q H), the mean base water potential (y b), and the standard deviation (s b) population. In the response to ABA, they are the “ABA-time constant” (q ABA), the mean base ABA concentration (ABAb), and the standard deviation (s ABAb) of the seed population. Using only these three parameters, germination time courses can be predicted at any corresponding medium y or ABA concentration. In the presence of both ABA and osmotic stress, the same parameters can be used to predict seed germination time courses with any combination of y and ABA concentration. The water relations model and the ABA model were additive and it appeared that the two factors slowed down germination independently. Effects of osmotic stress and ABA on the parameters in Lockhart equation are also discussed.

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Yoshiko Yambe, Kiyotoshi Takeno, and Takashi Saito

Seed germination percentage of multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora Thunh.) was much higher under continuous white light than in complete darkness. Red light was the most effective in inducing germination, and far-red light was ineffective. Exposure to red light for 1 min increased germination; this effect was saturated at an exposure of2 min. The red-light effect was reversed by subsequent exposure to far-red light. The results indicate that rose seeds are positively photoblastic, and that the photoreceptor involved is most likely phytochrome.

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S. Grange, D.I. Leskovar, L. Pike, and G. Cobb

Triploid watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] consumption is increasing in the United States However, some of the original problems, poor and inconsistent germination, still exist. Seeds of several triploid and diploid watermelon cultivars were subjected to a variety of treatments to improve germination. Control and scarified seeds, by nicking, were incubated at 25 or 30 °C in either 5 or 10 mL H2O or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Triploid seed germination was strongly inhibited in all cultivars when seeds were at 10 mL of H2O or H2O2; both nicking and H2O2 increased germination but not equal to rate of the control in 5 mL H2O or H2O2. Germination of diploid cultivars was unaffected by any treatment. Seed morphological measurments indicated that triploid seed has a smaller embryo with a large and highly variable (cv = 105%) air space surrounding the embryonic axis as compared with the diploid seed. These data suggests that triploid watermelon seed germination is not inhibited by the seed coat thickness alone. Seed moisture plays a significant role in germination, emergence, and stand uniformity.

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Robin A. DeMeo and Thomas E. Marler

Two studies were conducted to determine the influence of pH on papaya seed germination and seedling emergence. The germination test was conducted with `Waimanalo' and `Tainung 1' seeds, using a double layer of filter paper disks in plastic petri dishes placed within a growth chamber. Each dish received 40 seeds, and germination was defined as when the radicle was visible. Disks were wetted daily with nutrient solution adjusted to pH of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9. Germination began on day 5, and the study was terminated on day 23. Solution pH did not influence germination rate or ultimate germination percentage. `Waimanalo' exhibited 58% germination and `Tainung 1' exhibited 64% germination in this test. The seedling emergence study was conducted with `Waimanalo' seeds using sand culture within a growth chamber. Thirty seeds were planted in 10-cm containers, and the sand was irrigated daily with the solutions from the first study. Emergence was defined as when the hypocotyl hook was visible above the sand. Emergence began on day 10, and the study was terminated on day 30. Solution pH did not influence seedling emergence, and mean emergence was 69% in this study. The results indicate that the seed germination and seedling emergence stages of papaya seedling growth are adapted to a wide range of substrate pH.