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On the Germination of Seeds of Comptonia peregrina, the Sweet Fern
Peter del Tredici and John G. Torrey
Vol. 137, No. 3 (Sep., 1976), pp. 262-268
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2473860
Page Count: 7
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Fruits of the sweet fern, Comptonia peregrina (L) Coult., possess a hard, resistant, sclerified pericarp which surrounds a membranous seed coat or testa which in turn encloses the embryo. Scarification of the fruit, low-temperature treatment of moistened fruits, and a variety of chemical treatments failed to elicit seed germination. Treatment of the whole fruit with 500 ppm gibberellic acid (GA3) for up to 24 h elicited 20% germination, which increased to as high as 80% when combined with scarification. Mechanical removal of the pericarp did not allow germination; removal of both pericarp and the seed coat membranes resulted in good germination Best germination was obtained with isolated embryos treated with 1-10 ppm GA3. The age of the fruit in storage had no effect on development of the isolated embryo but did affect the response of intact seeds to treatment with GA3. Fruits of Myrica gale L. and M. cerifera L. showed improved germination following GA3 treatment. An inhibitor in the seed coat of Comptonia, possibly abscisic acid, was believed to be responsible for fruit dormancy in this plant.
Botanical Gazette © 1976 The University of Chicago Press