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Effect of temperatures during seed development and pretreatment on seed dormancy of Malus sargentii and M. sieboldii

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Eight pretreatment temperatures ranging from 0.5°C to 18.5°C were tested on two Malus sargentii seed lots. Temperatures above 9°C had no significant effect on seed dormancy, 0.5°C and 4.0°C were equally efficient in releasing the dormancy, but only seeds pretreated at 4°C germinated during pretreatment.

To investigate the effect of temperature during seed development on the level of dormancy, two clones of M. sargentii and seed plants of Malus sieboldii were transferred after pollination to growth chambers at three different temperature regimes (normal mean temperature ± 3°C). Ripe fruits were harvested at three different dates. M. sieboldii plants and a third clone of M. sargentii were kept outside for comparison. Seed weights and moisture contents after harvest were determined, and germination was tested after pretreatment at 4°C for different periods.

M. sargentii seeds developed at the highest temperature regime had higher seed weights, lower seed moisture contents and were less dormant than seeds developed at the lowest temperature regime. The difference in pretreatment needed to obtain maximum germination was 4-5 weeks.

Twelve weeks pretreatment was sufficient to break dormancy in M. sieboldii seeds, but at least 15-16 weeks of pretreatment was needed to break the seed dormancy of M. sargentii.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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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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