Fruit processing, seed viability and dormancy mechanisms of Persoonia sericea A. Cunn. ex R. Br. and P. virgata R. Br. (Proteaceae) – Publication

Summary of a paper based on work funded at least in part by the Australian Flora Foundation

Bauer, L.M., Johnston, M.E. and Williams, R.R.
School of Agronomy and Horticulture, The University of Queensland Gatton, Queensland 4343, Australia
Seed Science. & Technology, 2004, 32: 663-670.

The morphology of the fruit and difficulties with fruit processing impose major limitations to germination of Persoonia sericea and P. virgata. The mesocarp must be removed without harming the embryo. Fermentation of fruit or manual removal of the mesocarp was effective but digestion in 32% hydrochloric acid (HCI) completely inhibited germination. The endocarp is extremely hard and therefore very difficult and time consuming to remove without damaging the seeds. The most efficient method was cracking the endocarp with pliers, followed by manual removal of seeds. Germination was completely inhibited unless at least half of the endocarp was removed. Microbial contamination of the fruit and seeds was controlled by disinfestation and germination of the seed under aseptic conditions. The results suggest that dormancy in these species is primarily due to physical restriction of the embryo by the hard endocarp.