Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Seed dormancy breaking treatments for African purslane (Zaleya pentandra).

Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms involved in releasing seed dormancy is crucial for effective plant management and renewal of species in the arid zone. Zaleya pentandra is an emerging invasive weed of the arid areas of Pakistan. We investigated the effects of different dormancy breaking treatments on the germination of Z. pentandra seeds. Seeds were treated with hot water (by placing them in boiling water for 5, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 min), dry heat (by placing them in a preheated oven at 70°C for 1, 2, and 4 hours; at 70°C for 1, 2, 3, and 4 days, and at 200°C for 5, 10, 15, 30, and 45 min) and stratification (by placing them at 2-5°C in a refrigerator for 5, 10, 30, and 60 min; for 3, 6, and 12 hours, and for 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, and 30 days). Seeds also were soaked in thiourea ([(NH2)2CS]) (0, 2,500, 5,000, 7,500, and 10,000 mg L-1 for 24 h at 30°C) and in KNO3 (0, 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, 50,000, and 60,000 mg L-1 for 24 h at 30°C). Additionally, seeds were scarified with HCl (for 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 21 h), HNO3 (for 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 21 h), and H2SO4 (for 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, and 120 min at 30°C) and also mechanically scarified with sandpaper. Zaleya pentandra seeds showed typical signs of hard seed coat dormancy. Mechanical scarification and acid treatments promoted seed germination to a varying degree. Seed scarification with HNO3 for 12 to 18 h as well as with HCl for 12 h and 15 h was efficient in breaking dormancy of Z. pentandra seeds, providing germination up to 92.5%. Seed scarification with H2SO4 from 20 to 120 min showed little effect, whereas hot water, dry heat, stratification and various concentrations of thiourea and KNO3 were ineffective in breaking Z. pentandra seed dormancy.