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Imbibition, Germination, and Early Seedling Growth Responses of Light Purple and Yellow Seeds of Red Clover to Distilled Water, Sodium Chloride, and Nutrient Solution

Department of Biology, University of Évora, Ap. 94, 7002-554 Évora, Portugal
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Received: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
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Published: 28 February 2019
DOI: 10.3390/sci1010010.v1
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Abstract

The seeds of red clover are heteromorphic and two color morphs can be visually recognized, light purple and yellow, resulting from heterozygosity and recessive homozygosity at two loci. Here, we report the responses of seed imbibition, seed germination, and early seedling growth of the two morphs to distilled water, sodium chloride, and complete nutrient solution. The sensitivity of red clover seeds to treatments increased with the stage of development in what seems to be a cumulative process. No differences were found in seed imbibition between morphs or between treatments. In seedling growth, on the contrary, treatments were always effective, but differences between morphs were only observed in seeds that were treated with nutrient solution, whereas in the intermediate stage of seed germination, the effects by treatments were observed together with the appearance of differences between morphs in distilled water and in the treatment by sodium chloride solution. Simultaneously, the superior performance of the yellow morph that was found in germination, which appears to be a trait stable across cultivars of red clover seeds, turned into a superior performance of the light purple morph in seedling growth.
Keywords: germination; heteromorphism; imbibition; seed color; seedling growth; sodium chloride; Trifolium pratense germination; heteromorphism; imbibition; seed color; seedling growth; sodium chloride; Trifolium pratense
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Costa, A.S.; Dias, L.S.; Dias, A.S. Imbibition, Germination, and Early Seedling Growth Responses of Light Purple and Yellow Seeds of Red Clover to Distilled Water, Sodium Chloride, and Nutrient Solution. Sci 2019, 1, 10.

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