The physiology of seed dormancy and germination in Avena fatua L.

Cairns, Andrew Lawrence Patrick (1984-08)

Thesis (PhD (Agric.) -- Stellenbosch University, 1984.


INTRODUCTION: The study of seed dormancy and germination has for centuries occupied the minds of agronomists, physiologists, brewers, bakers and, more recently, weed scientists. The agronomist requires that the seed that he sows will germinate rapidly and uniformly and produce a vigorous healthy seedling .. The physiologist is interested in the understanding of the basic processes involved at the molecular level, and the geneticist in the inheritance of the quiescent character of the seed. Brewers seek a seed that will retain its viability at least until the following crop is harvested but which will also, on imbibition, rapidly set in motion those processes that will convert starch into sugar. The baker is concerned with the baking quality of the seed and, as far as he is concerned~ the more dormant the seed the better, as this eliminates the problem of pre-harvest sprouting which is very detrimental to baking quality. The weed scientist seeks to encourage all weed seeds present in the soil to germinate simultaneously so as to enable him to destroy the weed population with one application of herbicide or a single cultivation.

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