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Seed coat anatomy in the hilar region was examined in dry, imbibed and germinating seeds of Eastern redbud. A discontinuous area was observed between macrosclereid cells in the palisade layer of the seed coat which formed a hilar slit. A symmetrical cap was formed during germination as the seed coat separated along the hilar slit and was hinged by the macrosclereids in the area of the seed coat 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 seed coat of the developing ovule. There were no apparent anatomical differences in the hilar region of the seed coat between dormant and non-dormant imbibed seeds. However, the thickened layer of mesophyll cells of the seed coat in this region and the capacity of the endospetm to stretch along with the elongating radicle may contribute to maintaining dormancy in redbud seeds.

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Dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seed coat color is determined by the presence and relative amounts of phenolics, flavonoids, and anthocyanins present in the lumen of epidermal cells. Some of these chemicals may interact with proteins of the cotyledon to form complexes that render beans hard to cook and digest. Eight genetic loci control seed pigment chemistry. When all eight loci are dominant, a shiny black seed coat results, but recessive substitutions at one or more loci yield colors ranging from white, yellow, and brown to dark violet. In order to relate Mendelian genes for seed coat color to the pigments formed, we studied eight genetic stocks that had recessive substitutions at one or more color-determining loci in an otherwise all-dominant genetic background. Seed coat from each genotype was extracted exhaustively with hexane, EtOAc, MeOH, MeOH:H2O 1:1, and H2O 100%. Silica gel thin-layer chromatography (TLC) (solvent system CHCl3:MeOH 4:1) analysis of the MeOH fraction showed that one genotype had no phenolic compounds and two had only simple phenols. Once flavonol glycoside was present in relatively large amounts in four of the genotypes, but absent in genotypes with anthocyanins. Cellulose TLC (2-dimensional, Butanol:Acetic Acid:H2O 4:1:5 first dimension, 1% HCl second dimension) of the anthocyanin-containing genotypes showed that the presence of one flavonol and three anthocyanidin-3-glycosides (UV spot color and color shift with NH3). The relative importance of the seed coat chemicals in digestibility and their antioxidant will also be discussed.

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An assay using in vivo-produced embryos, with and without tegmen, of monoembryonic ‘Temple’ tangor [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck x C. reticulata Blanco) and polyembryonic ‘Troyer’ citrange (C. sinensis x Poncirus trifoliata Raf.) was developed to screen compounds as synthetic seed coats for in vitro-produced, asexual embryos. Of 8 compounds evaluated, Polyox WSR-N 750 proved to be the most suitable as a synthetic seed coat based on its film-forming ability, its ability to redissolve in water, and its nondeleterious effects on citrus embryos.

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Sinapine leakage to detect seed germination potential on a single-seed basis in Brassica has been developed as a rapid test. In this test, sinapine leakage predicts that a seed is non-germinable; however, the major source of errors in this method are false-negative (F–)—i.e., the method predicted a seed was germinable because the seed did not leak, and it did not germinate. The sinapine leakage index (SLI) was used to asses the F– for any seed lot by dividing the number of non-germinable seeds that leaked sinapine by the total number of non-germinable seeds. Seed lots including cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli (B. oleracea L., Captitata, Botrytis, and Italica groups, respectively) were used to examine the F–. The leakage rate as measured by T50, the time for 50% of heat-killed seeds to leak, was linearly correlated to SLI. Cabbage seeds were viewed by scanning electronic microscopy and leaking non-germinable seeds either had cracks or were shrunken. NaOCl pretreatment has been found to increase the rate of sinapine leakage and SLI. The mode of NaOCl was due to high pH altering the seed coat permeability. Chemical analysis was conducted on isolated seed coats for pectin, tannins, hemicellulose, cellulose, phenolic lignin, and cutin. It was found that the higher SLI (more permeable) lots contained lower amounts of cutin, suggesting that cutin may restrict the diffusion of sinapine through the testa.

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The effects of gri on seed coat and flower color were investigated in a study using Lamprecht line V0400 (PI 527735) as the known source of gri. Seed and flower color data were taken on observations of F2, BC1-F2, and BC2,-F2 populations from crosses of V0400 with the recurrent parent S-593. Segregation was observed for a unique flower color pattern: wing petals have a very pale tinge of blue (laelia), and the banner petal has two violet dots (≈3- to 4-mm diameter) on a nearly white background. This very pale laelia flower color cosegregates with gray-white seed coats produced by gri. Furthermore, the very pale laelia color depends on the action of V for expression and is extinguished by v, which produces pure white flowers. Thus, it was demonstrated that the very pale laelia flower color, for which Lamprecht tentatively proposed the gene symbol vpal, is not controlled by an allele at V but is a pleiotropic effect of gri. It was also demonstrated that Lamprecht line V0060 (PI 527717) carries vlae, not v, as indicated by the genotypic notes accompanying the Lamprecht seed collection.

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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.

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Murovec, J. Draslar, K. Bohanec, B. 2012 Detailed analysis of Cucurbita pepo seed coat types and structures with scanning electron microscopy Botany-Botanique 90 1161 1169 Nei, M. 1973 The theory and estimation of genetic distance, p. 45–54. In: Morton

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Current efforts in the study of citrus freeze hardiness including gene mapping and elucidating early induction processes require large populations of uniform seedlings. Related genera and intergeneric hybrids are often used in these studies and little is known about factors effecting their seedling emergence. We tested a total of 8 genotypes including Poncirus trifoliata `Rubidoux', Citrus grandis, C. sinensis `Pineapple', C. jambhiri `Schaub', C. paradisi `Duncan', C. aurantium (Brazilian), Carrizo citrange (P. trifoliata × C. sinensis), and Troyer citrange. A total of seven pre-planting treatments were used to evaluate seedling emergence rates. Expanding on the work of previous researchers, treatments were seed coat removal, hydrating in water (96 hours) at either 4, 25, or 35°C, acid scarification, or boiling. Generally, seed coat removal resulted in the most uniform emergence as compared to untreated controls. Presoaking at each temperature enhanced emergence in most varieties tested and 25°C was the best hydrating temperature. Acid scarification greatly delayed emergence in all genotypes tested except Troyer citrange and `Pineapple' orange which had enhanced emergence rates as compared to controls. Preplanting treatment with 100°C water was lethal in all varieties. Pretreatment of citrus seeds can enhance uniformity of germination, although optimum treatments for individual genotypes vary.

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Poor germination of lettuce seeds exposed to heat and salinity is attributed to a reduction in the capacity for embryo expansion. Ethylene and kinetin are proposed to overcome these stresses by increasing the expansion force of the embryo which ruptures the seed coat barrier to growth. To better understand the physiological mechanism regulating thermodormancy in the embryo, germination was determined for intact and decoated seeds from thermosensitive and thermotolerant varieties subjected to a critical range of temperature and salt (NaCl) stress. Although more tolerant of stress, the response of decoated seeds to ACC and kinetin was similar to the response of intact seeds. No interaction between ACC and kinetin was detected in decoated seed except under the most severe stress and in the thermosensitive variety. Heat and salt tolerance appear to be governed by the same physiological mechanism. We propose that the seed coat plays no qualitative role in the expression of lettuce seed thermodormancy. The response occurs exclusively in the embryo and may result from an inability to generate sufficient turgor pressure at supraoptimal temperatures for cell expansion.

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Abstract

The importance of tissue culture for clonal propagation in agriculture continues to increase each year. In general, commercial use of tissue culture propagation has been limited to crops that have a high per-unit value, such as ornamentals and fruit and nut trees. A lowcost, high-volume propagation system is not available, but could be of significant value to medium per-unit value crops such as lettuce, celery, and many others (Table 1). For these crops, highvolume propagation potential of somatic embryogenesis combined with formation of synthetic seeds for low-cost delivery would open a new field for clonal propagation. Candidate crops for synthetic seed production can be classified into two categories: 1) those that have a strong technological basis, such that high quality somatic embryos can currently be produced, and 2) those with a strong commercial basis. The latter category of crops are those in which seed costs are high because of fertility problems, gamete instability, labor-intensive hybrid seed formation, or a number of other reasons. Currently, there are few crops (Table 1) that meet both requirements and are suitable for synthetic seed technology.

Open Access