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Old sleeping Sicilian beauty: seed germination in the paleoendemic Petagnaea gussonei (Sprengel) Rauschert (Saniculoideae, Apiaceae).

  • Autori: De Castro, O.; Gianguzzi, L.; Carucci, F.; De Luca, A.; Gesuele, R.; Guida, M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2015
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Petagnaea gussonei (Apiaceae) is a perennial herbaceous species endemic to northeast Sicily (Nebrodi Mountains). It is considered a remnant of the Sicilian Tertiary flora, and is endangered according to the Red List. There is no information in the literature about the germinability of its seeds, even though seed production is know to occur. The aim of this study was to obtain data to better understand seed germination of this species and its biological implications. Thus, several approaches were employed: vitality analyses, gibberellic acid supply, germination and soil microbial flora analyses via end-point and qPCR. The results suggest that seed germination occurs after ca. 1.5 years at a rate of ca. 11%. The seeds can be classified as physiologically dormant, and probably require prolonged cold stratification for germination. Because seed germination is low, it is likely that agamic reproduction represents an important mean for its conservation and survival. These results have important implications for P. gussonei survival and should be considered in possible re-introduction attempts aimed at restoring threatened populations.