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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Secondary dormancy, is defined as the dormancy developing in seeds after harvest or dispersal. Under field conditions secondary dormancy is part of cyclic changes in the level of dormancy that often follow a seasonal pattern. It develops when germination is inhibited, e.g. by burial in soil. Temperature, absence of light or oxygen, presence of volatile or allelopathic inhibitors and moisture conditions are among the factors which may contribute to inhibition of germination and thus to development of dormancy. Decreasing light sensitivity is part of the development of secondary dormancy. It is partly attributed to photo- or dark-reversion of the far-red absorbing form of phytochrome (Pfr), pre-existing in the seeds or newly formed, to Pr. Changing levels of Pfr at its primary site of action, possibly being a membrane, are also held responsible for the decreasing light-sensitivity. Secondary dormancy is not related to a deterioration of the seeds. A specific relationship with any particular metabolic event has not been demonstrated. Secondary dormancy probably reflects a general insensitivity to several external and internal inducers of germination.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant Physiology, Agricultural University


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