Scarification Treatments to Overcome Hard Seededness in Hedge Lucerne

Thumbnail Image
Ramamoorthy K.
Vinaya R.
Tamil N.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Seeds of some legumes and grasses have seed coats which are impermeable to water and gases, a condition referred to as hard seededness (Woodstock, 1988). This restriction of water uptake delays the onset of metabolism and thus germination is likewise delayed (McDonough, 1'J II). In a population of seeds, germination is less synchronous as seed coats of individual seed soften at different rates (Pollock and Toole, 1966). Hard seededness is therefore an important cause of dormancy In the species where it occurs. Under natural conditions, a hard seed coat is eroded by microbial action, wetting and drying cycles, alternating temperature regimes and abrasion (Villiers, 1972; McDonough, 1977 and Doran et al., 1983). Under range conditions seeds must germinate rapidly after sowing to ensure seedling establishment under favorable growing conditions (Gulliver and Hey-decker, 1973). Therefore, it is economical to treat seeds before sowing to improve the germination. This is often achieved by physical or chemical rupture of the seed coat employing mechanical abrasion or chemical etching of the testa. The purpose of this study was to determine a scarification that would maximize germination ilJ hedge Lucerne (Uesmanthls virgatus (L) Willd), a forage legume widely cultivated in the tropics
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 55 (4), p. 179-182