Skip to main content Accessibility help

Seed-dormancy variation in natural populations of two tropical leguminous tree species: Senna multijuga (Caesalpinoideae) and Plathymenia reticulata (Mimosoideae)

  • Daniela R. Lacerda (a1), José Pires Lemos Filho (a2), Maíra F. Goulart (a1), Renata A. Ribeiro (a1) and Maria Bernadete Lovato (a1)...


Senna multijuga and Plathymenia reticulata are tropical tree species native to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and the Brazilian Cerrado, respectively. Seed-coat dormancy variation was evaluated within and among natural populations of these two species. Scarified and non-scarified seeds from different plants within populations were germinated at 28°C, and the percentage of germinated seeds was estimated for both species. Mean germination percentages of non-scarified seeds tended to be higher for P. reticulata populations (40 and 62%) than for S. multijuga populations (9 and 35%). After scarification, germination percentages increased significantly in both species, with all populations showing mean values above 84%. The level of seed dormancy, evaluated through the experiment with non-scarified seeds, differed significantly within and among populations of both species (P < 0.05). The values of the coefficient of genotypic determination were high for populations of both species (b = 0.85). Although this coefficient is an overestimation, since it includes non-genetic maternal effects, its high values suggest that a considerable part of the phenotypic variation in seed dormancy in S. multijuga and P. reticulata is of genetic origin. Variation in seed dormancy can be an important factor for increasing genetic diversity in populations of these species, making them able to respond to environmental changes.


Corresponding author

*Correspondence Fax: +55 31 34992570, Email:


Hide All
Allen, P.S. and Meyer, S.E. (2002) Ecology and ecological genetics of seed dormancy in downy brome. Weed Science 50, 241247.
Andersson, L. and Milberg, P. (1998) Variation in seed dormancy among mother plants, populations and years of seed collection. Seed Science Research 8, 2938.
Baloch, H.A., DiTommaso, A. and Watson, A.K. (2001) Intrapopulation variation in Abutilon theophrasti seed mass and its relationship to seed germinability. Seed Science Research 11, 335343.
Baskin, C.C. and Baskin, J.M. (1998) Seeds: Ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination. San Diego, Academic Press.
Baskin, J.M. and Baskin, C.C. (2000) Evolutionary considerations of claims for physical dormancy-break by microbial action and abrasion by soil particles. Seed Science Research 10, 409413.
Baskin, J.M., Nan, X. and Baskin, C.C. (1998) A comparative study of seed dormancy and germination in an annual and a perennial species of Senna (Fabaceae). Seed Science Research 8, 501512.
Bazzaz, F.A. (1996) Plants in changing environments. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Beckstead, J., Meyer, S.E. and Allen, P.S. (1996) Bromus tectorum seed germination: between-population and between-year variation. Canadian Journal of Botany 74, 875882.
Bewley, J.D. and Black, M. (1982) Physiology and biochemistry of seeds. 2. Viability, dormancy and environmental control. New York, Springer-Verlag.
Bewley, J.D. and Black, M. (1994) Seeds: Physiology of development and germination (2nd edition). New York, Plenum Press.
Carvalho, P.E.R. (1994) Espécies florestais brasileiras: recomendações silviculturais, potencialidades e uso da madeira. Brasília, EMBRAPA-CNPF/SPI.
Cruz, E.D., Martins, F.O. and Carvalho, J.E.U. (2001) Biometria de frutos e sementes e germinação de jatobá-curuba (Hymenaea intermedia Ducke, Leguminosae – Caesalpinioideae). Revista Brasileira de Botânica 24, 161165.
Eiten, G. (1972) The cerrado vegetation of Brazil. The Botanical Review 38, 201341.
Fenner, M. (1991) The effects of the parent environment on seed germinability. Seed Science Research 1, 7584.
Flores, E.M. and Benavides, C.E. (1990) Germinación y morfología de Hymenaea courbaril L. (Caesalpinaceae). Revista de Biologia Tropical 38, 9198.
Foley, M.E. (2001) Seed dormancy: an update on terminology, physiological genetics, and quantitative trait loci regulating germinability. Weed Science 49, 305317.
Foley, M.E. and Fennimore, S.A. (1998) Genetic basis for seed dormancy. Seed Science Research 8, 173182.
Hilhorst, H.W.M. (1995) A critical update on seed dormancy. I. Primary dormancy. Seed Science Research 5, 6173.
Jones, H.D. (1999) Seeds get a wake-up call. Biologist 46, 6569.
Jones, T.A. and Nielson, D.C. (1999) Intrapopulation genetic variation for seed dormancy in Indian ricegrass. Journal of Range Management 52, 646650.
Koornneef, M., Bentsink, L. and Hilhorst, H. (2002) Seed dormancy and germination. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 5, 3336.
Lacerda, D.R., Acedo, M.D.P., Lemos, Filho J.P. and Lovato, M.B. (2001) Genetic diversity and structure of natural populations of Plathymenia reticulata (Mimosoideae), a tropical tree from the Brazilian cerrado. Molecular Ecology 10, 11431152.
Lemos Filho, J.P. and Mendonça Filho, C.V. (2000) Seasonal changes in the water status of three woody legumes from Atlantic Forest, Caratinga, Brazil. Journal of Tropical Ecology 16, 2132.
Lemos Filho, J.P., Guerra, S.T.M., Lovato, M.B. and Scotti, M.R.M.M. (1997) Germinação de sementes de Senna macranthera, Senna multijuga e Stryphnodendron polyphyllum. Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira 32, 357361.
Li, B. and Foley, M.E. (1997) Genetic and molecular control of seed dormancy. Trends in Plant Science 2, 384389.
Lorenzi, H. (1992) Árvores brasileiras: manual de identificação e cultivo de plantas arbóreas nativas do Brasil. Nova Odessa, Ed. Plantarum.
Lovato, M.B. and Martins, P.S. (1997) Genetic variability in salt tolerance during germination of Stylosanthes humilis H.B.K. and association between salt tolerance and isozymes. Brazilian Journal of Genetics 20, 435441.
Loveless, M.D. and Hamrick, J.L. (1984) Ecological determinants of genetic structure in plant populations. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 15, 6595.
Maluf, A.M. (1993) Estudo da herdabilidade da capacidade germinativa e da dormência de sementes de Senna multijuga. Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira 28, 14171423.
Meyer, S.E. and Pendleton, R.L. (2000) Genetic regulation of seed dormancy in Purshia tridentata (Rosaceae). Annals of Botany 85, 521529.
Mohamed-Yasseen, Y., Barringer, S.A., Splittstoesser, W.E. and Constanza, S. (1994) The role of seed coats in seed viability. The Botanical Review 60, 426439.
Myers, N., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G. de, Fonseca, G.A.B. and Kent, J. (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403, 853858.
Rolston, M.P. (1978) Water impermeable seed dormancy. The Botanical Review 44, 365396.
Santarém, E.R. and Aquila, M.E.A. (1995) Influência de métodos de superação da dormência e do armazenamento na germinação de sementes de Senna macranthera (Colladon) Irwin & Barneby (Leguminosae). Revista Brasileira de Sementes 17, 205209.
Templeton, A.R. and Levin, D.A. (1979) Evolutionary consequences of seed pools. American Naturalist 114, 232249.
Tieu, A., Dixon, K.W., Meney, K.A., Sivasithamparam, K. and Barrett, R.L. (2001) Spatial and developmental variation in seed dormancy characteristics in the fire-responsive species Anigozanthos manglesii (Haemodoraceae) from Western Australia. Annals of Botany 88, 1926.
Vázquez-Yanes, C. and Orozco-Segovia, A. (1993) Patterns of seed longevity and germination in the tropical rainforest. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 24, 6987.
Veasey, E.A. and Martins, P.S. (1991) Variability in seed dormancy and germination potential in Desmodium Desv. (Leguminosae). Revista Brasileira de Genética 14, 527545.


Seed-dormancy variation in natural populations of two tropical leguminous tree species: Senna multijuga (Caesalpinoideae) and Plathymenia reticulata (Mimosoideae)

  • Daniela R. Lacerda (a1), José Pires Lemos Filho (a2), Maíra F. Goulart (a1), Renata A. Ribeiro (a1) and Maria Bernadete Lovato (a1)...


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