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Morphological and physiological dormancy in seeds of Aegopodium podagraria (Apiaceae) broken successively during cold stratification

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 2009

Filip Vandelook
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Plant Ecology, K.U. Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 31 box 2435, B-3001Leuven, Belgium
Nele Bolle
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Plant Ecology, K.U. Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 31 box 2435, B-3001Leuven, Belgium
Jozef A. Van Assche
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Plant Ecology, K.U. Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 31 box 2435, B-3001Leuven, Belgium
Corresponding

Abstract

A low-temperature requirement for dormancy break has been observed frequently in temperate-climate Apiaceae species, resulting in spring emergence of seedlings. A series of experiments was performed to identify dormancy-breaking requirements of Aegopodium podagraria, a nitrophilous perennial growing mainly in mildly shaded places. In natural conditions, the embryos in seeds of A. podagraria grow in early winter. Seedlings were first observed in early spring and seedling emergence peaked in March and April. Experiments using temperature-controlled incubators revealed that embryos in seeds of A. podagraria grow only at low temperatures (5°C), irrespective of a pretreatment at higher temperatures. Seeds did not germinate immediately after embryo growth was completed, instead an additional cold stratification period was required to break dormancy completely. Once dormancy was broken, seeds germinated at a range of temperatures. Addition of gibberellic acid (GA3) had a positive effect on embryo growth in seeds incubated at 10°C and at 23°C, but it did not promote germination. Since seeds of A. podagraria have a low-temperature requirement for embryo growth and require an additional chilling period after completion of embryo growth, they exhibit characteristics of deep complex morphophysiological dormancy.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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