Interchangeable effects of temperature, moisture content and oxygen on seed longevity have been mostly examined to estimate seed viability during long-term dry storage, whereas few experiments have studied seed viability under near-natural conditions to evaluate seed persistence in the soil. To this end, we artificially aged seeds of Ranunculus baudotii, a hydrophyte widely distributed in temporary ponds constituting an abundant soil seed bank. Seeds were exposed to controlled ageing at three different relative humidities (RH) under both aerobic and anoxic conditions. Their viability, water content, membrane damage, oxidative stress and anti-oxidant enzymatic defence activity were evaluated. Seed survival was longer at higher relative humidity (97% RH), and lowest at a relative humidity (90% RH) simulating moist but not waterlogged soils. Anoxic conditions showed a protective role on viability at lower moisture contents (70% RH). Seed viability was negatively associated with hydrogen peroxide content and correlated with anti-oxidant enzyme activities, but not with membrane damage. Altogether, these results suggest negative roles for moist soils and anoxia in determining seed persistence in the field, but at higher moisture contents the negative effects of anaerobia diminished. The anti-oxidant system activation, even under unfavourable conditions, might recover seeds once all protective processes can operate, pointing out the plasticity of mechanisms involved in seed loss viability.

Aerobic environment ensures viability and anti-oxidant capacity when seeds are wet with negative effect when moist: implications for persistence in the soil

Carta A
Primo
;
Bottega S;Spanò C.
2018

Abstract

Interchangeable effects of temperature, moisture content and oxygen on seed longevity have been mostly examined to estimate seed viability during long-term dry storage, whereas few experiments have studied seed viability under near-natural conditions to evaluate seed persistence in the soil. To this end, we artificially aged seeds of Ranunculus baudotii, a hydrophyte widely distributed in temporary ponds constituting an abundant soil seed bank. Seeds were exposed to controlled ageing at three different relative humidities (RH) under both aerobic and anoxic conditions. Their viability, water content, membrane damage, oxidative stress and anti-oxidant enzymatic defence activity were evaluated. Seed survival was longer at higher relative humidity (97% RH), and lowest at a relative humidity (90% RH) simulating moist but not waterlogged soils. Anoxic conditions showed a protective role on viability at lower moisture contents (70% RH). Seed viability was negatively associated with hydrogen peroxide content and correlated with anti-oxidant enzyme activities, but not with membrane damage. Altogether, these results suggest negative roles for moist soils and anoxia in determining seed persistence in the field, but at higher moisture contents the negative effects of anaerobia diminished. The anti-oxidant system activation, even under unfavourable conditions, might recover seeds once all protective processes can operate, pointing out the plasticity of mechanisms involved in seed loss viability.
Carta, A; Bottega, S; Spanò, C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/893179
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