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Recent advances in guayule parthenium argentatum seed germination procedures

, : Recent advances in guayule parthenium argentatum seed germination procedures. Crop Science 20(4): 501-504

Guayule (P. argentatum Gray), a xerophytic shrub native to northeastern Mexico and southern Texas [USA], is receiving renewed attention as a potential source of natural rubber in the semiarid regions of the world. A major problem in propagating guayule is seed dormancy. The objectives of this investigation were to evaluate and modify old seed treatment methods and to develop an improved standard procedure for quick and complete germination of guayule seeds to enhance breeding and improvement of the crop. The optimum concentration of NaOCl needed for breaking seed dormancy was higher for younger than older seeds. Seeds should be washed and soaked in distilled water for 8 h followed by a 2-h treatment with a solution of equal parts of GA (200 ppm) and NaOCl (1.0% for fresh seeds, and 0.25% for 1-yr-old seeds). With this procedure freshly harvested seeds germinated 100% under light and over 70% in complete darkness. Emergence of seedlings from soil depended primarily upon seed size. Large guayule seeds emerged better at all depths to 18 mm after standard treatment than did medium or small seeds.

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