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Seed germination and radicle development in six provenances of Pinus sylvestris L. under water stress

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The effects of water stress of the substrate on seed germination and on the first stage of radicle growth were studied in six Pinus sylvestris provenances. Water potentials ranging from 0 to -0.8 MPa under 20 °C conditions were obtained by the use of 6000-Da polyethylene glycol. Decreases in water potential produced a marked reduction in germination percentage and germination value. Significant variations among the provenances were found, and provenances S5 (Culhali) and S6 (Pinarbasi), the southernmost ones, appeared to be less susceptible to water stress. No germination occurred at -0.8 MPa at all, and when the ungerminated seeds at -0.8 MPa were transferred to germinators with saturated filter paper, maximum germination occurred. The effect of water stress ranging from 0 to -0.3 MPa on radicle growth showed that the reaction to variations of the water potential was significantly different among the six provenances. The results were also discussed in relation to the climatic conditions of the zones of seed provenances.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Forestry, Kafkas University


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