South Australian Seed Conservation Center

North Adelaide, Australia

South Australian Seed Conservation Center

North Adelaide, Australia
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Pound L.M.,University of Adelaide | Pound L.M.,South Australian Seed Conservation Center | Ainsley P.J.,University of Adelaide | Ainsley P.J.,South Australian Seed Conservation Center | Facelli J.M.,University of Adelaide
Australian Journal of Botany | Year: 2014

Physical dormancy is common in seeds of arid-land legumes. Improved understanding of germination requirements of hard-seeded species will further our understanding of arid lands and aid restoration projects. We studied the germination responses of Acacia papyrocarpa (Benth.), A. oswaldii (F.Muell) and Senna artemisioides (Gaudich. ex DC.) Randell ssp.×coriacea (Benth.) Randell from a chenopod shrubland in South Australia. Imbibition testing indicated that all three species had physical dormancy, but the proportion of dormant seeds was lower in A. oswaldii. This corresponded to a thinner testa in this species. Mechanisms tested to scarify seeds included mechanical scarification and different durations of wet or dry heat. Mechanically scarified seeds germinated readily, reaching maximum numbers in 10-15 days, independently of incubation temperatures, with the exception of S. artemisioides seeds, which germinated at a slower rate in cooler temperatures. Overall, wet heat was more effective than dry heat to alleviate physical dormancy, whereas dry heat in some cases resulted in seed mortality. On the basis of these results, it is recommended that seeds of A. papyrocarpa and S. artemisoides be pretreated with wet heat in future restoration programs. No pre-treatment is required for dormancy loss in A. oswaldii seeds. The different responses of seeds of these species suggest that their populations have varying strategies for persistence in this unpredictable environment.

Dowling N.,South Australian Seed Conservation Center | Dowling N.,University of Adelaide | Jusaitis M.,South Australian Seed Conservation Center | Jusaitis M.,University of Adelaide
Australian Journal of Botany | Year: 2012

Determining the seed quality and germination requirements for threatened orchid species in storage is vital for future conservation efforts. Seeds of many Australian terrestrial orchid species are held in conservation collections around the country, but few have been germinated in vitro, fuelling concerns over their long-term viability. This study tested three methods of assessing orchid seed quality; asymbiotic germination was compared with vital staining using triphenyltetrazolium chloride or fluorescein diacetate. Six culture media were examined for efficacy in promoting asymbiotic seed germination of four Australian terrestrial orchid species (Pterostylis nutans, Microtis arenaria, Thelymitra pauciflora and Prasophyllum pruinosum). Germination occurred on all media but germination rates were consistently highest on BM1 and development was most advanced on BM1, P723 and Malmgren media. Subsequent trials tested the efficacy of BM1 for asymbiotic germination of additional genera (Caladenia, Calochilus and Diuris), several congeneric species, and two species collected from several different provenances within each of their ranges. The results indicate that asymbiotic germination on BM1 medium is an effective technique for testing the performance of Australian terrestrial orchid seeds. The efficacy of vital stains to determine seed viability, however, remains uncertain, as significant disagreement between degree of staining and germinability was observed for some species. © 2012 CSIRO.

Aleman R.,University of South Australia | Jusaitis M.,South Australian Seed Conservation Center | Jusaitis M.,University of Adelaide | Gibbs J.,University of South Australia | And 3 more authors.
Australian Journal of Botany | Year: 2015

Brachyscome ciliaris is a floriferous Australian native daisy, with potential for use as a horticultural species. The species is hardy and seeds are relatively easy to germinate, but it is unique within the Brachyscome genus in that seeds are distinctly dimorphic. Within a fruiting capitulum, ray seeds are smooth and narrow with a minute pappus, whereas disc seeds have broad flat wings with curled hairs and a longer pappus than that of ray seeds. Both seed morphs, collected from five populations of the species, were tested to determine differences in their morphology, germination speed and percentage, seedling growth and wind-dispersal characteristics. Ray seeds were generally lighter and smaller than disc seeds and their length varied significantly with provenance. Dormancy levels of the two seed morphs and growth of ray- and disc-derived seedlings did not differ significantly, but differences were significant among the five populations tested. Seeds germinated readily, and germination was optimal under winter or summer conditions and lower in spring or autumn. Seed production by plants raised from ray or disc seeds was identical, but Noora-sourced plants yielded more seed than did plants sourced from the other provenances tested. Seed size, germination and plant growth of B. ciliaris varied significantly among populations. Winged disc seeds were dispersed slightly further by wind than were wingless ray seeds. We concluded that dormancy, germination and seed-yield characteristics of B. ciliaris were all influenced more by seed provenance than by seed morph (ray or disc). © CSIRO 2015.

Merritt D.J.,Kings Park and Botanic Garden | Merritt D.J.,University of Western Australia | Martyn A.J.,Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust | Ainsley P.,South Australian Seed Conservation Center | And 11 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2014

Management of seed banks conserving the biodiversity of phylogenetically diverse species requires insight into seed longevity. This study determined the seed longevity of 172 species sourced from across the mega-diverse flora of the Australia continent. Seeds were aged via a controlled ageing experiment through storage at 45 °C and 60 % RH, or 60 °C and 60 % RH, and regularly tested for germination. Relative seed longevity between species was determined by comparing the time to 50 % viability loss (p 50), calculated via probit analysis of seed survival curves. Seed, plant, and environmental traits were examined for associations with longevity. The p 50 values varied between species from 3.0 to 588.6 days. Serotinous species, and woody trees and shrubs, had significantly longer-lived seeds than geosporous species, and species of herbaceous habit. Seeds that possess physical dormancy, and seeds with large embryos with little endosperm, were also long-lived. There was a weak, but significant, positive correlation between seed mass and longevity. Seeds sourced from regions of higher mean annual temperature and rainfall were significantly longer-lived than seeds from cooler and drier regions, although both environmental factors were weakly associated with longevity. Compared with species from other regions of the world, prolonged longevity is a feature of many Australian species. Nevertheless, seed life-spans vary substantially between species and close consideration of seed traits along with biotic and abiotic components of the plants and their environment can assist to differentiate between potentially long- and short-lived seeds. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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