Short soaking in water inhibits germination of Datura ferox L. and D. stramonium L. seeds


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14 Scopus citations


Summary. Seed coat structures may play a major role in determining the germination of seeds. The involvement of seed coat characteristics in the inhibition of germination observed when dry seeds of Datura ferox L. and D. stramonium L., were rinsed or soaked in water for 1–5 min (‘soaking effect’) was investigated. Germination was inhibited by soaking D. ferox seeds even at late stages of the germination process up to one day before root protrusion. Simulation of the ‘soaking effect’ was achieved by blocking the hilum with lanolin, enamel lacquer or agar during imbibition. Blocking the hilum did not prevent water uptake by the seeds. Seed coat integrity was necessary for the ‘soaking effect’ since germination inhibition was eliminated by removing or cracking the seed coat. Drying the seeds up to 12 h after soaking reversed the inhibitory effect. SEM observations of both species revealed a loose outer parenchymatous tissue covering the hilum, an inner spongy tissue between the nucellus and the hilum and a space between the seed coat and the nucellus. We concluded that during soaking, water is trapped in the space between the seed coat and the nucellus, and in the intracellular spaces of the spongy tissue within the hilum. This water ‘plug’ may limit the diffusion of gas(es) to and from the embryo through the hilum, thus inhibiting germination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalWeed Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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