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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Seed Dormancy: An Update on Terminology, Physiological Genetics,and Quantitative Trait Loci Regulating Germinability

Author
item FOLEY, MICHAEL

Submitted to: Weed Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 6, 2000
Publication Date: May 1, 2001
Citation: Foley, M.E. 2001. Seed dormancy: an update on terminology, physiological genetics, and quantitative trait loci regulating germinability. Weed Science. 49:305-317.

Interpretive Summary: Seed dormancy optimizes the distribution of germination over time enhancing the survival of plants in an ever-changing environment. Seed dormancy is of intrinsic interest to weed scientists and practitioners of weed management because it is one of twelve adaptive characteristics associated with weeds. The sporadic emergence of seedlings derived from populations of dormant and nondormant weed seeds in the soil is a key factor that dictates the need to apply weed control measures repeatedly within, between, and across growing seasons. This article provides some background information on dormancy and reviews recent findings concerning dormancy, afterripening, and germination of seeds for weed scientists, students and other interested individuals.

Technical Abstract: Seed dormancy has been defined as the temporary failure of a viable seed to germinate, after a specific length of time, in a particular set of environmental conditions that later evoke germination when the restrictive state has been terminated by either natural or artificial conditions. Seed dormancy optimizes the distribution of germination over time enhancing the survival of plants in an ever-changing environment. Seed dormancy is one of twelve adaptive characteristics associated with weeds. The sporadic emergence of seedlings derived from populations of dormant and nondormant weed seeds in the soil is a key factor that dictates the need to apply weed control measures repeatedly within, between, and across growing seasons. This article provides information on definitions and categories of dormancy, and reviews recent findings concerning genetics, physiological genetics, and molecular genetics of seed dormancy and germination.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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