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Induction of Secondary Dormancy in Chenopodium bonus-henricus L. Seeds by Osmotic and High Temperature Treatments and Its Prevention by Light and Growth Regulators 1

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Factors controlling the establishment and removal of secondary dormancy in Chenopodium bonus-henricus L. seeds were investigated. Unchilled seeds required light for germination. A moist-chilling treatment at 4 C for 28 to 30 days removed this primary dormancy. Chilled seeds now germinated in the dark. When chilled seeds were held in the dark in −8.6 bars polyethylene glycol 6000 solution at 15 C or in water at 29 C a secondary dormancy was induced which increased progressively with time as determined by subsequent germination. These seeds now failed to germinate under the condition (darkness) which previously allowed their germination. Continuous light or daily brief red light irradiations during prolonged imbibition in polyethylene glycol solution at 15 C or in water at 29 C prevented the establishment of the secondary dormancy and caused an advancement of subsequent germination. Far red irradiations immediately following red irradiation reestablished the secondary dormancy indicating phytochrome participation in “pregerminative” processes. The growth regulator combination, kinetin + ethephon + gibberellin A4+A7 (GA4+7), and to a relatively lesser extent GA4+7, was effective in preventing the establishment of the secondary dormancy and in advancing the germination or emergence time. Following the establishment of the secondary dormancy by osmotic or high temperature treatments the regulator combination was relatively more active than light or GA4+7 in removing the dormancy. Prolonged dark treatment at 29 C seemed to induce changes that were partially independent of light or GA4+7 control. The data presented here indicate that changes during germination preventing dark treatment determine whether the seed will germinate, show an advancement effect, or will become secondarily dormant. These changes appear to be modulated by light and hormones.

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