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《Acta Horticulturae Sinica》 1963-03
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STUDIES ON THE SEED DORMANCY AND GERMINATION OF SOME HORTICULTURAL PLANTS

Cheng Kuang-hwa (Peking Botanical Garden, Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica)  
The experiment was designed to investigate the dormancy of seeds as well as the germina-tion of seeds of several horticultural plants. Preliminary results are summarized as follows: 1. The failure of seeds of sedge (Carex rigescens (Fr.) Kreez.) to germinate is attributed to the prescence of a germination inhibitor. The amount of this substance, naturally occuring in seeds, closely depend upon the characters of species, maturity and longevity. It may be soluble in water, by means of washing seeds in the running water, the block will be over-come. 2. The seed of the tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa Andr.) is a typical epicotyl dormancy, that is the epicotyl must be given a low-temperature treatment after the seed has germinated to form a root. The gibberellin is the only effective chemical instead of the low temperature to after-ripen the shoot bud. But it will be effective, only after the root having grown, and the longer the root, the better the effect of the gibberellin. 3. The main factor conducted the seed dormancy of Japanese lown grass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) is the hard, impermeable glums enclosing the caryopsis.. By mechanical hulling or corrosive chemical treatment, such as 0.5% NaOH, the germination percentage will be greatly increased. If after the covering block was broken, another treatment by some chemicals, or by Ultrasonic vibration, he germination power will be more highly improved. 4. The seed of olive (Olea europea L.) possesses a hard coat which block the germina-tion. Other factors concerning to, delay germination are the requirements of a relative low temperature ( 20℃) and the sufficient oxygen supply. The methods to overcome the seedcoat block was determined, among which the NaOH treatment is the best of all. As to the con-centration as well as duration for soaking in the NaOH solution, it can be obtained by the convenient phenolphthalein indicator method. 5. Seeds of Tilia, species, which in nursery practice as well as in nature do not germinate until the next spring after their maturity, are so called two-year seeds. It was proved ex-perimentally that the blocking of the absorption of water and air not only due to the hard pericarp, but also impermeable seedcoat. The embryo dormancy is broken at low temperature only if the seed has been able to absorb water. 6. The fact that the germination of seeds of Royal water lily (Victoria amazonica. Sower-by.) must immersed in the water was well known. The delayed sprout is not due to the structure of seedcoat, possibly its mechanism is of physiological. By means of ultrasonic vibra-tion, the germination processes will be promoted and increased. Based on a series of experimental results as described above, and another discovering in the field of seed physiology, the mechanism of dormancy of seeds is discussed and summarized into a diagram at the end of this paper.
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