Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Richards function and quantitative analysis of germination and dormancy in meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba)

  • Canhong Cheng (a1) and Ian L. Gordon (a2)


While investigating germinability in the new-crop meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba Benth.), it was desired to gain maximum information despite minimal seed material and prior knowledge. Extended use of the Richards function in a factorial germination experiment proved very powerful. The functions yielded estimates of four correlated coefficients, requiring multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) to provide valid F-tests among germination profiles. These germination functions provided more rigorous discrimination among treatments than the univariate final germination level. The functions for the imbibants KNO3 and GA4+7, in darkness at 10/5°C, were best, being characterized by high mean absolute germination rate, relatively short duration, and high final germination (upper asymptote). The results provided insights into possible dormancy mechanisms.


Corresponding author

*Correspondence Fax: +64 7 573 3871 Email:


Hide All
Bewley, J.D. and Black, M. (1994) Seeds. Physiology of development and germination. New York, Plenum Press.
Causton, D.R. and Venus, J.C. (1981) The biometry of plant growth. London, Edward Arnold.
Chang, S.P. and Rothfus, J.A. (1977) Enrichment of eicosenoic and docosadienoic acids from Limnanthes oil. Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society 54, 549552.
Cole, D.F. (1974) Effect of light and temperature on germination of two accessions of Limnanthes alba seed. Economic Botany 28, 155159.
Cooley, W.W. and Lohnes, P.R. (1971) Multivariate data analysis. New York, John Wiley.
Crump, S.L. (1946) The estimation of variance components in analysis of variance. Biometrics 2, 711.
Dennett, M.D., Auld, B.A. and Elston, J. (1978) A description of leaf growth in Vicia faba L. Annals of Botany 42, 223232.
Dennett, M.D., Elston, J. and Milford, J.R. (1979) The effect of temperature on the growth of individual leaves of Vicia faba L. in the field. Annals of Botany 43, 197208.
Higgins, J.J., Calhoun, W., Willingham, B.C., Dinkel, D.H., Raisler, W.L. and White, G.A. (1971) Agronomic evaluation of prospective new crop species. II. The American Limnanthes. Economic Botany 25, 4454.
Hunt, R. (1979) Plant growth analysis. The rationale behind the use of the fitted mathematical function. Annals of Botany 43, 245249.
ISTA (1999) International rules for seed testing 1999. Seed Science and Technology 27 (Supplement), 155199.
Jolliff, G.D., Seddigh, M. and Franz, R.E. (1994) Seed germination and dormancy of new meadowfoam (Limnanthes spp.) genotypes. Industrial Crops and Products 2, 179187.
Lehle, F.R. and Putnam, A.R. (1982) Quantification of allelopathic potential of sorghum residues by novel indexing of Richards' function fitted to cumulative cress seed germination curves. Plant Physiology 69, 12121216.
Mmolawa, O.B. (1987) Germination and dormancy of meadowfoam seed. MS thesis, Oregon State University (cited by Jolliff et al. , 1994).
Morrison, D.F. (1990) Multivariate statistical methods (3rd edition). New York, McGraw-Hill.
Nichols, M.A. and Heydecker, W. (1968) Two approaches to the study of germination data. Proceedings of the International Seed Testing Association 33, 531540.
Nyunt, S. and Grabe, D.F. (1987) Induction of secondary dormancy in seeds of meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba Benth.). Journal of Seed Technology 11, 103110.
Perry, D.A. (1987) Topographical tetrazolium test. pp. 5765in Fiala, F. (Ed.) ISTA handbook of vigour test methods. Switzerland, The International Seed Testing Association.
Richards, F.J. (1959) A flexible growth function for empirical use. Journal of Experimental Botany 10, 290300.
SAS Institute Inc. (1990) SAS/STAT user's guide, version 6 (4th edition), Vol. 2.
Satterthwaite, F.E. (1946) An approximate distribution of estimates of variance components. Biometrics Bulletin 2, 110114.
Schimpf, D.J., Flint, S.D. and Palmblad, I.G. (1977) Representation of germination curves with the logistic function. Annals of Botany 41, 13571360.
Steel, R.G.D. and Torrie, J.H. (1981) Principles and procedures of statistics: a biometrical approach (2nd edition). New York, McGraw-Hill.
Toy, S.J. and Willingham, B.C. (1966) Effect of temperature on seed germination of ten species and varieties of Limnanthes. Economic Botany 20, 7175.
Venus, J.C. and Causton, D.R. (1979) Plant growth analysis: the use of the Richards function as an alternative to polynomial exponentials. Annals of Botany 43, 623632.


The Richards function and quantitative analysis of germination and dormancy in meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba)

  • Canhong Cheng (a1) and Ian L. Gordon (a2)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed