Seed germination response of Indian wild pear (Pyrus pashia) to gibberellic acid treatment and cold storage
Knowledge of seed germination behaviour of different seed sources of tree species is useful in selecting the most responsive and adaptive ones for propagation and germplasm conservation. The wild Himalayan pear (Pyrus pashia Buch-Ham ex D. Don) produces highly nutritious edible fruits that are consumed by local communities. The populations of the species are threatened due to exploitation and lack of adequate conservation programmes. The study was conducted to examine the germination response of P. pashia seeds from two sources (S1-Champawat and S2-Pithoragarh) in Uttarakhand state of India, to different GA3 treatment and also to assess the viability and longevity of the seeds in cold storage (5 °C) for three years. In both sources germination percent (GP) increased significantly under GA3 treatment and speed of germination was also enhanced (reduction in mean germination time). In Source, 1 GP increased under all GA3 application, highest being 94% under GA3 500 ppm treatment. In Source 2, GP of seeds doubled under 100 ppm GA3 treatment while its higher concentrations did not improve the germination. However, the differences observed in germination between the seed sources could be due to differences in the dormancy levels and/or sensitivity to dormancy breaking elements across their geographical range. Thus, exogenous application of GA3 is suggested for enhancing the germination in seeds of P. pashia. Seeds responded to cold storage by increased germination with duration, i.e. highest after three years in storage, indicating that the seeds got the required chilling treatment for overcoming dormancy.
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