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Title: The effects of desiccation on seeds of Acer saccharinum and Aesculus pavia: recalcitrance in temperate tree seeds
Author: Connor, Kristina F.; Bonner, Franklin T.
Source: Trees 15:131-136
Description: This study was undertaken to determine how the results from lipid, moisture, and differential scanning calorimetry analyses conducted on silver maple (Aceraceae: Acer saccharinum L.) and red buckeye (Hippocastanaceae: Aesculus pavia L.) compared with those obtained from previous studies on white and water oaks (Fagaceae: Quercus alba and Q. nigra) and the tropical zone species American muskwood (Meliaceae: Guarea guidonia and carapa (Meliaceae: Carapa guianensis). Seeds were air-dried at room temperature for 9-11 days. At intervals, germination was tested, moisture determined, and lipids extracted. It was found that, like the other recalcitrant seeds, (1) viability was greatly reduced or lost after 11 days of drying, (2) percentage changes in individual fatty acids were not related to seed viability, and (3) results from the differential scanning calorimetry studies revealed a strong relationship between enthalpy/onset data from the embryo and cotyledon tissues and loss of viability. Also, silver maple seeds experienced a 50% reduction in viability by day 5 of drying and retained an axis moisture content over 25% throughout the experiment. However, unlike the other recalcitrant seeds surveyed, both silver maple and red buckeye had a significant reduction in the total amount (mg/g) of cotyledon lipids as the experiment progressed. However, no decrease in the unsaturated/saturated fatty acid ratio was found, so we conclude that in these species lipid peroxidation is not a marker of declining seed viability. Also, red buckeye seeds did not lose 50% viability until after day 8 of the experiment, and axis moisture content fell well below 20% as the seeds dried.
Keywords: recalcitrance, Aesculus pavia, Acer saccharinum, lipids, moisture content, viability
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Connor, Kristina F.; Bonner, Franklin T. 2001. The effects of desiccation on seeds of Acer saccharinum and Aesculus pavia: recalcitrance in temperate tree seeds. Trees 15:131-136
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