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Open Access Promoting seed germination of Bunias erucago, a Mediterranean leafy vegetable

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Knowledge of germination and propagation requirements are crucial for the use of plant genetic resources. Here, we compare different treatments to improve the germination of Bunias erucago (Cruciferae), a Mediterranean vegetable herb of growing commercial interest. Its cultivation is limited by the poor germination shown by the seeds which are enclosed in indehiscent silicles. To improve the germination, we investigated four treatments: (1) pre-soaking silicles in water for 48 hours; (2) scarification of silicles with sandpaper; (3) seed extraction; and (4) seed exposure to gibberellic acid (GA3). The same treatments (except the GA3 treatment) were also used to investigate seedling emergence under glasshouse conditions. In the absence of treatments and/or soaking in water, there was very low final germination (< 10%), while scarification and seed extraction increased the germination to ∼40% and > 90%, respectively. Scarification was the most effective treatment in a horticultural context, since the brittleness of seeds makes their extraction too delicate and time-consuming. The seedling emergence results confirmed those of seed germination in the laboratory, underlining the effectiveness of the treatments for plant cultivation. Seed germination performance varied among wild populations, underlining the importance of provenance when using wild plants as new crops.

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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: August 1, 2020

This article was made available online on April 10, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Promoting seed germination of Bunias erucago, a Mediterranean leafy vegetable".

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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