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Ecophysiology of germination in Sicilian population of Ferula communis (Umbelliferae)

  • Autori: Scialabba, A; Lombardo, G; Raimondo, FM
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2010
  • Tipologia: eedings
  • Parole Chiave: chemotype, Ferula communis, germination, germplasm conservation
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Ferula communis L. is an umbelliferous plant widespread in the Mediterranean basin and particularly abundant in Sicily and Sardinia islands (Italy). In this species, two chemotypes have been distinguished: one is poisonous and responsible of hemorrhagic syndrome of livestock, known as ferulosis, while the other one (non- poisonous) has anticancer activity due to the presence of daucane esters. In Sicily the dry stem of this plant has commercial applications in special manufactured products. The object of the research was to investigate the germination ecophysiology of nine Sicilian populations of F. communis, in order to establish the correct germplasm conservation of the chemotypes economically interesting. In this preliminary study we report data of seeds collected in July 2009 from Monte Pellegrino (altitude 80 m) population. The effects of water (control), three GA3 concentrations (10-3, 10-6 and 10-9 M) and four temperatures (5°, 15°, 20° and 25°C) were investigated. Besides, seeds were also incubated on MS medium with vitamins, 30 gl-1 sucrose supplemented with three GA3 concentrations (2.8, 5.6 and 11.2 µM) at the same temperatures reported above. Seeds were incubated in the dark and monitored for 120 days. Germination percentage (%G) and mean time germination (MTG) were recorded. The best germination rate assessed was 30% in water at 5°C (69 days of MTG), followed by 10% in water at 15°C (39 days of MTG). Very low germination rate (4.7% and 90 days of MTG) occurred on MS hormone-free medium and on MS with 2.8 and 5.6 µM GA3 at 15°C. No germination was observed at higher temperatures. The results show that low temperatures determine germination while GA3 do not have any inductive effect on germination, in accord with data obtained in Sardinian populations by Sanna and co-workers. Further investigations needs to be carried out to improve the germination protocol of this species.