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Variation in seed dormancy in Echinochloa and the development of a standard protocol for germination testing. II: Breaking dormancy in seeds unresponsive to light or dark conditions alone by using heat and ethanol pretreatment

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A recently established method for the germination of Echinochloa seeds recognised and accounted for variation in responses to light and darkness. This method used parallel light and dark tests and was successful in promoting germination in most seed lots. However, some samples exhibited deeper dormancy and were not fully responsive to either test. In the present study, we employed warm pretreatments where seeds were exposed to dilute aqueous ethanol solutions to attempt to break their dormancy. Based on tests of five Echinochloa accessions, we propose a new, follow-up protocol that can be used on samples unresponsive to the established method. The additional step involves a 3-day dark pretreatment at 35-37°C, imbibing the seeds in ∼0.25M ethanol (aq). After this pretreatment, the seeds should be germinated for 14 days at 20/30°C (16 hours/ 8 hours) with half held in darkness and the other half exposed to an 8-hour light cycle.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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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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