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COMPARISON BETWEEN TREATMENTS OF CACTUS SEEDS AWAKENING


An interesting comparative study about some of the most popular treatments of cactus seeds awakening

by: SeedsCactus.com26/09/2013

Here is an interesting comparative study about the efficacy of some of the most popular treatments for cactus seeds stimulation and awakening, applied to selected species of Mexican cacti: Ariocarpus retusus, Echinocactus horizonthalonius, Leuchtenbergia principis, Thelocactus bicolor and Thelocactus hexaedrophorus. The study, conducted by botanical experts of the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, needs to investigate which one of the stimulating and awakening treatments have the greater effect, in terms of germination, on the seeds of the listed species.

For each species, a representative sample of seeds has been subjected to each of these treatments:

  • > immersion in water for 12 hours and for 36 hours;
  • > immersion in solution at 70% of sulfuric acid for 15 minutes and for 25 minutes;
  • > stratification at 5-7°C for 15 days and for 30 days;
  • > contact with mold in a closed pot for 15 days and for 30 days;
  • > immersion in solution at 0.2% of potassium nitrate for 15 minutes and for 30 minutes.

Then each sample has been placed in a propagator at established brightness and temperature established in order to observe the germination rate after a few days. Here are the results:

Ariocarpus retusus: the immersion in water for 12 hours has been optimal (100 % of germinated seeds, germination started after 6 days). Good results even with immersion in a solution of sulfuric acid for 15 minutes (70% after only 2 days) and with stratification for 30 days (70% after 4 days). Bad results, however, with immersion in a solution of potassium nitrate: regardless of the time, germination rate does not exceed 10%.

Echinocactus horizonthalonius: the treatment giving the best results has been the immersion in a solution of potassium nitrate for 15 minutes (40% germination started after 6 days). Same delay of germination, but with slightly lower rates, have been obtained with the immersion in sulfuric acid solution for 25 minutes (35%) and with stratification for 15 days (30%). Avoid immersion in water for 12 hours and the contact with the mold for 15 days: both have provided germination percentages close to zero.

Leuchtenbergia principis: significant differences depending on the type of treatment. The most important results have been obtained with immersion in sulfuric acid solution for 15 minutes and the stratification for 30 days (65%); however in the 1st case the germination started after 4 days, in the 2nd case after 24 days. Good results even with immersion in a solution of potassium nitrate for 25 minutes (40%). Very low germination rates instead with immersion in water for 12 hours (5%).

Thelocactus bicolor: low germination rate with all treatments. Those who have given the best results were immersion in a solution of sulfuric acid for 15 minutes and immersion in water for 36 hours (15% germination rate), with the first treatment the germination started after 5 days and the second after 8 days. The immersion in sulfuric acid for 25 minutes gave a lower rate (10%), probably because the increased acid exposure time has damaged embryos.

Thelocactus hexaedrophorus : the best treatment has been the stratification for 30 days (35%), although germination has started well after 23 days. All other methods have provided rates of less than 15%: among them, the faster it is certainly the immersion in a solution of sulfuric acid for 15 minutes (15%, germination starting after 5 days).

 

More informations:
A.A.Gomez, A.R.Ruiz, J.D.F.Rivas , Rompimento de latencia en semilla de cinco especies de cactaceas del desierto chihuahuense – - Folleto tecnico n. 32 – Inifap

 

 

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