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In this experiment, the effects of salinity from 0.0%, 0.5%, 1.0%, and 5.0 % NaCl on Hibiscus syriacus L. and Hibiscus hamabo Sieb. & Zucc. seed germination with various temperature and Ca treatments was investigated in petri dishes with 10 ml of distilled water or with the appropriate saline solution. At 11 days after treatment, the highest germination rate was obtained at 20C with H. syriacus and 25C with H. hamabo without NaCl and Ca treatments. At 25C, only H. hamabo seeds germinated with 1% NaCl, with dry and fresh weight increasing as Ca concentration increased. With 0.5% NaCl treatment, the germination rate of H. hamabo and H. syriacus increased as Ca concentrations (0.0, 13.35, and 133.5 mM) increased. Without NaCl treatments, hypocotyl and leaf length and width of H. syriacus were longer than those of H. hamabo; with NaCl treatments, the inverse was true.

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Abstract

Seed germination of ‘Royal Mix’ freesia was most rapid and uniform at 15.5° or 18.5°C under clear polyethylene or at 13° or 21.5°C under black polyethylene. Soaking seeds in running water prior to germination or removal of the seed coat did not improve seed germination

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Abstract

Irregular germination and delayed emergence of blueberry, strawberry, blackberry and raspberry seedlings have been noted by various investigators. Seed treatments such as afterripening (1) and acid scarification of strawberry seed (2) improved rapidity of germination, but neither treatment fully overcame the delay in seed germination. In a study with blueberry seed, after-ripening did not improve germination (2). Sporadic germination and delayed emergence of seedlings complicates a breeding program when uniform size of seedlings is desired.

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Abstract

Scarification and pre-soak treatments with water or 1000 ppm gibberellic acid (GA) accelerated seed germination of Alexandra palm [Archontophoenix alexandrae (F. J. Muell.) H. Wendl. & Drude]. Macarthur palm [Ptychosperma macarthurii (H. Wendl.) Nichols] germination was accelerated following scarification or pre-soaking in 1000 ppm GA, however, in both species greatest acceleration was obtained when the scarification and GA treatments were combined. Germination time of Macarthur palm was also reduced by 6 weeks when sown in beds heated to 27° ± 1°C.

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The effectiveness of solid matrix priming (SMP) and seed brushing was further evaluated by using an thermo-gradient table (Seed Processing, Holland) set at 10 different temperatures from 12 to 30 °C. Intact or brushed seeds of gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) were primed with Micorocel E (Celite Corp.) at 25 °C for 3 days in the mixture of 10 seed: 1 Microcel E: 3 water, by weight, and the primed seeds were dried again for long-term storage. SMP treatment significantly increased earlier seed germination at all temperatures. However, the difference in seed germination rate between intact and SMP-treated seeds was most pronounced at somewhat lower temperatures of 18-22 °C. SMP-treated seed showed about 20% final germination rate at 12 °C, whereas intact seeds did not germinate at all. Seed brushing treatment itself did not influenced the germination rate. However, brushing treatment before SMP treatment significantly increased the SMP effect. Combined use of chemicals in solution further increased the early germination. Details of various seed treatment methods will be presented.

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Diquat was tested to determine its suitability for use as a preharvest desiccant of selected vegetable seed crops during 1997 and 1998. In separate studies, diquat was applied at 0,0.56, or 1.12 kg·ha-1 ai. to spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.), table beet (Beta vulgaris L.), and coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) plants at usual swathing time. Except for beet seed in 1998, there was no clear trend toward reduced seed weight with increasing diquat rate. Spinach seed germination in 1998 and coriander seed germination in 1997 were reduced by diquat at 1.12 kg·ha-1 compared to seed from nontreated plants or plants treated with 0.56 kg·ha-1. In all crops, diquat at 0.56 kg·ha-1 was adequate for crop desiccation purposes. However, seed producers should consider the potential benefits from chemical desiccation that may potentially lower germination of the harvested seed. Chemical name used: 6,7-dihydrodipyrido[1,2-α:2′,1′-c]pyrazinediium ion (diquat).

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The influence of compost (derived from MSW and biosolids) maturity on seed germination of several weed species was evaluated. A bioassay was developed by extracting 20 g of compost of different maturities with various volumes of water, then measuring germination percentage of ivyleaf morningglory (Ipomoea hederacea) seeds placed on extract-saturated filter paper in a petri dish. A 20 g (dry weight) compost: 50 mL of water generated an extract that produced the widest percentage seed germination variation in response to composts of different maturity. Ivyleaf morningglory, barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli L.), purslane (Potulaca oleracea L.), and corn (Zea mays L) were selected as plant indicators to determine the compost maturity stage with maximum germination inhibition. Compost 8-week-old decreased percent germination, root growth, and germination index (combines germination rate and root growth), and increased mean days to germination (MDG) of each plant indicator. Immature 8 week-old compost extract effect on MDG and germination percent of 15 weed species was evaluated. Extract from 8-week-old compost inhibited germination in most weed species, except yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus). Compost extracts derided from immature (3-day, 4-, and 8-week-old) compost resulted in delayed and reduced germination percent of important economic weed species.

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This project tested rates of lignite-activated water (LAW) for its influence on seed germination, cutting propagation, and plant performance. LAW is a product of CAW Industries, Rapid City, S.D. LAW is water-activated by lignite in a process that includes the addition of sulfated castor oil, calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate, sodium meta silicate, and fossilized organics from refined lignite. LAW is reported to improve many plant performance traits. Four rates were used in this study. Seed germination trials indicated no significant differences in germination percentage with LAW applications with the two species tested, Echinacea purpurea and Hibiscus dasycalyx. In a “closed” system, LAW enhanced cutting propagation success of Aster caroliniana, Cuphea micropetala, and Verbena `Homestead Purple', as measured by percent rooting and dry weight of roots produced. Cutting propagation of two woody species, Illicium henryi and Rosa banksiae, was not improved with LAW additions. In the SFASU Arboretum, pansy performance, as measured by plant dry weight, was improved one month after establishment.

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The autointoxication of chrysanthemum was studied using water extract of Dendranthema morifolium's rhizospheric soil. Results of bioassays showed that the water extract inhibited chrysanthemum seed germination and the activities of some important root enzymes. The seedling nitrate reductase activity was decreased linearly with increasing concentration of the extract. The activity of root dehydrogenase was inhibited only at the highest concentration tested [3.2 g·mL-1, dry weight (DW)], but was stimulated at a lower concentration tested (1.6 g·mL-1, DW). Malondialdehyde content increased at higher than 1.6 g·mL-1, DW concentrations of the extract. The autointoxication phenomenon might be related to the difficulties in continuous plantings of chrysanthemum at the same location.

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Poor peach seed germination can be a problem for commercial tree fruit nurseries. Even standard rootstocks such as Lovell and Nemaguard do not always have high germination rates. New seed-propagated rootstocks under development, such as Guardian peach rootstock, often are selected for their field traits, with nursery characteristics being of secondary importance. Guardian rootstock is derived from bulked open-pollinated seed from a number of F1 seedling selections. Germination of Guardian bulked seed has been poor. Four pre-stratification cold treatments were given to four 100-seed lots each of Lovell, Nemaguard, and 10 Guardian selections prior to planting each year (1994 to 1998) in a Cecil sandy loam at Musser Fruit Research Center near Clemson, S.C. Treatments included taking dry, refrigerated seed that were harvested in August and soaking 100-seed seedlots in 1500 mL perlite and 400 mL distilled water for 0 (no soaking), 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks at 6 °C before sowing (typically early November). All treatments consisted of 25 seeds per replicate (4 reps/year) per rootstock or selection and were sowed the same day. The experiment was analyzed as a blocked split plot design with duration of stratification the whole-plot and seedlot the sub-plot. Number of emerged seedlings were counted weekly starting in January of each year. There were significant differences between stratification treatments, seedlots and years. The 6-week pre-stratification had the highest germination over 5 years and like the 8-week treatment advanced the average germination date by 20 to 30 days. Nemaguard (65%), Lovell (64%), and Guardian 3-17-7 (60%) had the best germination percent across all treatments and years, with SL2891 (42%) slightly less. All other selections averaged less than 25%. Year-to-year variation was large, indicating strong environmental influences on seed germination despite the pre-stratification treatments.

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