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- Author or Editor: H. Nerson x
Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Schrad.) Matsum. & Nakai] seeds of the tetraploid ‘Alena’ and the diploid ‘Sugar Baby’ were subjected to one of several treatments prior to germination at 17°, 21°, and 25°C, including lateral splitting, soaking in H2O (aerated or nonaerated), GA4+7, or benzyladenine (BA) for 24 hr, or in KNO3 for 5 days, followed by drying. These treatments were successful in increasing germination percentage of ‘Alena’ seeds. Soaking treatments increased ‘Alena’ embryo length. ‘Alena’ seeds possessed thicker seed coats, larger seed cavities, and absorbed more water than those of their diploid counterpart, ‘Sugar Baby’.
The involvement of the seed coat in low temperature germination of melon seeds was examined in two accessions differing in their ability to germinate at 14°C: `Noy Yizre'el' (NY) (a cold-sensitive cultivar) and `Persia 202' (P-202) (a cold-tolerant breeding line). Submerging the whole seed, or covering the hilum with lanolin, strongly depressed germination of NY, but not of P-202. Accessions differed in germination response to decreasing O2 concentration, with NY showing higher sensitivity to hypoxia. Intercellular spaces in the outer layer of the seed-coat were evident in the more tolerant P-202, while in the sensitive NY this layer is completely sealed. Sensitivity to hypoxia was greater at 15°C than at 25°C and was greater in NY than in P-202. It is proposed that the seed-coat imposed dormancy at low temperature in NY is the combined result of more restricted oxygen diffusion through the seed coat and a greater embryo sensitivity to hypoxia, rather than imbibition impairment or a physical constraint.