Effect of Seed Maturity and Pretreatment on Dormancy and Germination of Sorbus mougeotii Seeds

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The effect of harvest time on seed germination, desiccation tolerance and level of dormancy is not known in Sorbus mougeotii (Soyer-Will. & Godron). Dry weight (DW), moisture content (MC) and leakage conductivity (LC) were tested on seeds from six harvest times. Chilling requirement and germinability were tested on seeds without drying and after drying and rehydration. The effect of postharvest ripening of seeds with or without drying was also tested. The DW was stable during the last 6 weeks of maturation, whereas MC initially decreased but later increased simultaneously with an increase in LC. Seeds were desiccation tolerant, deeply dormant and after a chilling treatment germinated to a high percentage at all harvest times. The chilling requirement decreased significantly with later harvest, suggesting a decrease in level of dormancy. Drying and postharvest ripening reduced and synchronized the chilling requirement.
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