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germination, Thapsia

Annette L. Miller almiller at lamar.colostate.edu
Mon Nov 17 10:27:13 EST 1997

Soren K. Rasmussen wrote:
> I am looking for a standard protocol in germinating seeds from different
> plant species. Currently I try to germinate seeds of Thapsia garganica,
> without success. thank you for your kind help
> soren k rasmussenThe International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and the Association of 
Official Seed Analysts (AOSA - e-mail: assoc at navix.net ) have standard 
protocols for seed germination.  

ISTA's address is:
PO Box 412, CH-8046   Zurich, Switzerland  (I don't know about an e-mail 
address for them.)

About Thapsia:  This is in the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family which is 
notorious for having seeds with embryos in all stages of development 
within the seeds.  This happens because of its umbel inflorescence in 
which you find seeds at all stages of maturity if the head is picked one 
time.   While the seeds all appear outwardly to be fully formed, inside, 
the embryo can range from only a few cells to a fully formed embryo with 
well developed cotyledons extending the length of the seed. 

You need to cut a few imbibed seeds (seeds that have taken up water) and 
look at the embryos under magnification.  Also check for decay.  Poor 
seed quality is a more likely cause of inability to germinate rather than 
inappropriate growing conditions.  If the embryos and the surrounding 
nutritive tissue look healthy,  try germination with alternating 
temperatures  20C-30C  (night-day).   If the seeds have various stages of 
maturity and are otherwise healthy, germination will be staggered (not 
uniform) and will take several weeks.  

Best wishes, ALM

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