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DO GERMINATION MECHANISMS DIFFER IN PLANTS ORIGINATING IN DESERTS RECEIVING WINTER OR SUMMER RAIN?

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Some of the perennial shrub species of the Mesembryanthemaceae from South Africa, growing in the Sde Boker Introduction Garden, were tested for seed germinability: species which originated in areas receiving winter rain were compared to species from regions receiving summer rain. Differences in germinability were found after exposure to high temperatures during the first 24 h of imbibition. In Bergeranthus scapiger, originating in areas receiving summer rain, imbibition at 45°C for 24 h did not inhibit but accelerated germination when seeds were later transferred to 25°C. The opposite was found in seeds of plants, such as one of the Cheiridopsis species, inhabiting areas of winter rain. Imbibition of seeds at 45°C for 24 h inhibited germination in the light and prevented it completely in the dark when transferred later to 25°C. In annual plants which inhabit the Negev highlands, such as Carrichtera annua (Cruciferae), imbibition of seeds at 35°C for 24 h inhibited germination more intensely in the dark than in the light. The opposite is true in Reboudia pinnata (Cruciferae): when seeds were imbibed at 35°C for 24 h, there was an acceleration in subsequent germination at the optimal temperature. Are the different germination rates after exposure to high temperatures of the two related Saharo-Arabian crucifers connected to the possibility that R. pinnata originated in the summer-rain area of the Sahara and Arabia deserts, whereas C. annua originated in Saharo-Arabian regions receiving winter rain?

Affiliations: 1: The Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research and the Department of Biology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

10.1080/0021213X.1990.10677160
/content/journals/10.1080/0021213x.1990.10677160
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/content/journals/10.1080/0021213x.1990.10677160
1990-05-13
2018-09-23

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