Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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Bhatt A.,Gulf | Gairola S.,Sharjah Research Academy | El-Keblawy A.A.,Sharjah Research Academy | El-Keblawy A.A.,University of Sharjah | El-Keblawy A.A.,Suez Canal University
Revista de Biologia Tropical | Year: 2016

Heterogeneity in seeds mostly occurs due to physiological, environmental and genetic factors, and these could affect seed dormancy and germination. Therefore, the aim of our study was to assess the effect of seed colour on germination behavior. For this, both light and temperature requirements were assessed in Lotus glinoides and Lotus halophilus (Fabaceae) from the hyper-arid deserts of the United Arab Emirates. Germination was assessed in terms of both final germination level (percentage) and germination rate, as expressed by Timson’s germination velocity index. Lotus glinoides produces black and yellow-colored seeds, and L. halophilus produces green and yellow seeds. Different seed lots were germinated in both light and darkness at different temperatures. Yellow seeds of the two species attained significantly lower germination, compared to black and green seeds. There was no specific light or temperature requirements for the germination of the two coloured seeds of L. glinoides; the effect of interactions between seed colour and both light and incubation temperature, were not significant on the final germination percentage. In L. halophilus, green seeds germinated significantly more in both light and darkness at lower temperatures (15/25 °C) and in light at higher temperatures (25/35 °C), compared to yellow seeds. Yellow seeds germinated faster, compared to black at 15/25 °C in L. glinoides and compared to green seeds at 15/25 °C and 25/35 °C in L. halophilus. Seed colour variation, at least in L. halophilus, could be a survival strategy that would determine the time of germination throughout the year in the unpredictable desert environment. © 2016 Universidad de Costa Rica. All Rights Reserved.

El-Keblawy A.,University of Sharjah | El-Keblawy A.,Suez Canal University | El-Keblawy A.,Sharjah Research Academy | Gairola S.,Sharjah Research Academy | Bhatt A.,Gulf
Acta Botanica Brasilica | Year: 2016

The effects of maternal habitat on light and temperature requirements during germination were assessed for the succulent desert shrub Anabasis setifera. Seeds were collected from the Mediterranean habitats of Egypt and the hyper-arid subtropical habitats of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Seeds from the two populations were germinated in three temperature treatments in both a light/dark regime and continuous darkness. Seeds from the Egyptian population germinated significantly greater and faster than those of UAE. Seeds stored for four months at room temperatures have little dormancy and germinate at wide range of temperatures and light conditions, but seeds stored four months in the natural habitat lost their ability to germinate and rotted 10 days after incubation. The germination response to temperature depended on the habitat type. Seeds of the Egyptian population attained a significantly greater germination at lower temperatures, compared with seeds from the UAE population, but there was no difference in germination between the two populations at higher temperatures. Germination of A. setifera was very fast; most seeds germinated within four days. These results reflect the adaptive strategy of germination in both populations, and may help explain the wide distribution of this species in different climatic regions. © 2016, Sociedade Botanica do Brasil. All rights reserved.

El-Keblawy A.,University of Sharjah | El-Keblawy A.,Suez Canal University | Gairola S.,Sharjah Research Academy | Bhatt A.,Gulf
Journal of Arid Land | Year: 2016

The effects of maternal salinity and light incubation on the salinity tolerance of the facultative halophyte Anabasis setifera during their germination stages were assessed. Seeds were collected from non-saline habitats in Egypt and saline habitats in ARE (UAE). The seeds of the two populations were germinated in 0, 100, 200, 400, 600 and 800 mM NaCl, and incubated at 25°C/15°C in both 12-h light and 12-h darkness regimes and continuous darkness. Significantly more seeds germinated in the Egyptian population than in the UAE population. Salinity tolerance was significantly greater with the Egyptian population than with the UAE population, especially under the conditions of higher salinities. The difference in salinity tolerance between the seeds of two populations was attributed to their seed mass. In addition, germination was significantly faster for the Egyptian population than for the UAE population. Most of the saline treated seeds were able to recover their germination when transferred to distilled water, but this depended on their maternal salinity and light incubation. Recovery from higher salinities was significantly better for the seeds under darkness than for those under light in the UAE population, but the reverse was true for the seeds in the Egyptian population. The higher salinity tolerance for the A. setifera seeds from the non-saline Egyptian population and the lower salinity tolerance for the seeds from the saline UAE population cannot explain their natural distribution. Further studies about other possible roles, such as levels of different promoting and inhibiting phytohormones, are needed to understand the importance of salinity as an environmentally induced maternal effect. © 2016, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Springer - Verlag GmbH.

El-Keblawy A.A.,University of Sharjah | El-Keblawy A.A.,Suez Canal University | Bhatt A.,Gulf | Gairola S.,Sharjah Research Academy
Botany | Year: 2014

Salsola rubescens Franch. is a wind-pollinated halophytic shrub that produces fruits with red and yellow winged perianths. Germinability of seeds from both fruit types was determined under various light, temperature, and salinity treatments. Red seeds, with and without winged perianths, were heavier than yellow seeds. Germination percentage and germination rate index (speed) were significantly affected by the perianth colour, presence of wings, and temperature and light of incubation and most of their interactions. Germination percentage was greater for yellow-winged seeds than for red-winged seeds. Wing removal significantly enhanced the germination percentage and germination speed in the two types. The presence of wings enhanced germination at lower temperatures, but wing absence enhanced germination at higher temperatures. Wing removal enhanced germination to a greater degree in yellow than in red seeds. There was no light requirement during germination of red-winged seeds, but yellow-winged seeds germinated significantly more in light than in darkness. Red-winged and dewinged seeds were more tolerant to salinity than yellow seeds. Removal of wings significantly increased salinity tolerance for seeds of both wing colours. It is concluded that the showy perianth colours have an ecological role in wind-pollinated plants in regulating dormancy and germination behaviour in the heterogeneous unpredictable hyperarid deserts.

El-Keblawy A.A.,University of Sharjah | El-Keblawy A.A.,Suez Canal University | Bhatt A.,Gulf | Gairola S.,Sharjah Research Academy
Pakistan Journal of Botany | Year: 2015

Seeds are either stored in a soil seed bank or retained on maternal plants until they are released (aerial seed bank). Though there are extensive studies on the germination requirements of seeds in soil banks of saline habitats, studies conducted for halophytes with aerial seed banks are rare. We assessed the impact of aerial and room-temperature storages on the light and temperature requirements during germination in two small-seeded halophytes: Halocnmum strobilaceum having a short-term aerial seed bank (less than one year) and Halopeplis perfoliata having a longer term aerial seed bank (up to two years). Seed storage in the aerial bank reduced the germination in H. strobilaceum, but either increased it (5-months storage) or had no effect (17-months storage) in H. perfoliata. Seeds of both species that were stored in aerial bank germinated to higher percentages in light than in darkness, indicating that considerable portions of the seed populations are light sensitive. Seeds of H. perfoliata attained less than 5.0% germination in darkness at higher temperatures, compared to more than 90.0% in light. The results support the hypothesis that the aerial seed bank is an adaptive strategy for survival in the saline habitats of the two species. © 2015, Pakistan Botanical Society. All rights reserved.

Mahmoud T.,Sharjah Research Academy | Gairola S.,Sharjah Research Academy | El-Keblawy A.,University of Sharjah
Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity | Year: 2015

Large old trees are often recognized for the provision of variety of ecosystem services to humanity. This paper reports the existence of a large old Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karst. tree in the Hamriyah area of Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates. Existence of such keystone structures spans many human generations and they become a historic link between the generations. Therefore, protection and recognition of more culturally, historically, and ecologically important trees by establishing a comprehensive tree list are crucial. © 2015 The Authors.

Gairola S.,Sharjah Research Academy | Mahmoud T.,Sharjah Research Academy | El-Keblawy A.,University of Sharjah | El-Keblawy A.,Suez Canal University
Phytotaxa | Year: 2015

This article reports the presence of the alien species Sphaeralcea bonariensis (Cav.) Griseb. for the first time in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Voucher specimens are deposited in the Herbarium of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and in the herbarium of the Sharjah Seed Bank and Herbarium (SSBH) laboratory, UAE. This report emphasizes the importance of monitoring and regular reporting of emerging threats of introduced species, to avoid any possible negative impacts on native biodiversity in the future. The Arabian Gulf flora, including that of the UAE, has yet to be comprehensively investigated, and the chance of introductions of exotic plants is high, due to the large proportion of agricultural materials being imported from other countries. © 2015 Magnolia Press.

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