Embryo maturation, dormancy and seed storage behaviour of Gymnacranthera canarica (King) Warb., a threatened endemic tree species of Southern Western Ghats


  • S. Anusha Department of Botany, University of Kerala, Thiruvanathapuram-695034, Kerala, India
  • C. Anilkumar Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, Palode, Thiruvananthapuram- 695562, Kerala, India
  • A. Gangaprasad Department of Botany and Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, University of Kerala, Thiruvanathapuram-695034, Kerala, India




Gymnacranthera canarica, recalcitrant, Storage behaviour, Dormancy, Embryo immaturity, Gibberellic acid


Gymnacranthera canarica is a severely endangered endemic tree species found in the Myristica swamps of the Southern Western Ghats. Seed storage behaviour is an essential factor to consider when developing effective conservation methods for plant genetic resources whose ex-situ preservation is unclear. The seed storage behaviour, seed dormancy state, dormancy breaking treatments, germination, and phytohormonal analysis of G. canarica were explored in this work. G. canarica seed moisture at shedding was 28.86%, germinated to 34% at 25ºC, and had a low germination rate in natural conditions. Germination was considerably aided by Gibberellic acid pretreatment and drying stratification. G. canarica seeds may have non-deep simple morphophysiological dormancy, as evidenced by the fact that their embryos grew at temperatures between 20 and 25ºC (MPD). Seeds can be stored for up to 60 days at 20ºC after being desiccated to 19.37% suggest that G. canarica seeds are recalcitrant, with non-deep simple morphophysiological dormancy, and that seed pretreatment with Gibberellic acid prior to germination could be a viable approach for mass propagation and long term ex-situ conservation could be the potential storage of this critically endangered species.


Download data is not yet available.


Abdul-Baki, A. A., & Anderson, J. D. (1973). Vigor determination in soy bean seed by multiple criteria 1. Crop Science, 13(6), 630-633. https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci1973.0011183X001300060013x

Akbari, M., & Salehi, H. (2008). Physical dormancy and the best scarification treatment for flower of an hour (Hibiscus trionum L.) seeds. Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences, 2(1), 27-31.

Al-Saedi, N. J. J. (2019). Effect of different concentrations of plant hormones on seed germination and callus induction of Atropa belladonna in in-vitro conditions. Plant Archives, 19(1), 1268-1274.

Anilkumar, C., Babu, K. P., & Krishnan, P. N. (2002). Seed storage and viability of Myristica malabarica Lam. an endemic species of Southern Western Ghats (India). Seed science and Technology, 30(3), 651-657.

Bahuguna, V. K., Rawat, M. M. S., & Naithani, K. C. (1988). Studies on dormancy and treatment to enhance germination of Champa (Michelia champaca, Linn.) Seed. Indian Forester, 114(6), 317-319.

Blandino, C., Fernández-Pascual, E., Marin, M., Vernet, A., & Pritchard, H. W. (2019). Seed ecology of the geophyte Conopodium majus (Apiaceae), indicator species of ancient woodland understories and oligotrophic meadows. Plant Biology, 21(3), 487-497. https://doi.org/10.1111/plb.12872

Chandran, M. D. S., & Mesta, D. K. (2001). On the conservation of the Myristica swamps of the Western Ghats. In R. Uma Shaanker, K. N. Ganeshaiah & K. S. Bawa (Eds.), Forest Genetic Resources: Status, Threats, and Conservation Strategies (pp. 1-19) New Delhi: Oxford and IBH.

Chetouani, M., Mzabri, I., Aamar, A., Boukroute, A., Kouddane, N., & Berrichi, A. (2017). Effect of gibberellic acid (AG3) on the germination of seeds of Thymus satureioides L and Lavandula dentate. Journal of Materials and Environmental Sciences, 8(3), 942-948.

Chin, H. F., Krishnapillay, B., & Stanwood, P. C. (1989). Seed moisture: recalcitrant vs. orthodox seeds. In P. C. Stanwood & M. B. McDonald (Eds.), Seed moisture (Vol. 14, pp. 15-22) US: Crop Science Society of America. https://doi.org/10.2135/cssaspecpub14.c2

Fernando, M. T. R., Jayasuriya, K. M. G. G., Walck, J. L., & Wijetunga, A. S. T. B. (2013). Identifying dormancy class and storage behaviour of champak (Magnolia champaca) seeds, an important tropical timber tree. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 41(2), 141- 146. https://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v41i2.5708

Hilhorst, H. W. M., & Karssen, C. M. (2000). Effect of chemical environment on seed germination. In M. Fenner (Eds.), Seeds: the ecology of regeneration in plant communities (pp. 293-309). https://doi.org/10.1079/9780851994321.0293

Hong, T. D., & Ellis, R. H. (1996). A protocol to determine seed storage behaviour. IPGRI Technical Bulletin No. 1. Rome, Italy: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.

Howe, H. F. (1990). Seed dispersal by birds and mammals: implications for seedling demography. In K. S. Bawa & M. Handley (Eds.), Reproductive ecology of tropical forest plants. Man and the Boisphere Series (pp. 191-218). Paris, France: The Parthenon Publishing Group.

Kleemann, S. G. L., & Gill, G. S. (2013). Seed dormancy and seedling emergence in ripgut brome (Bromus diandrus) populations in southern Australia. Weed Science, 61(2), 222-229. https://doi.org/10.1614/WS-D-12-00083.1

Lin, L., Cai, L., Fan, L., Ma, J.-C., Yang, X.-Y., & Hu, X.-J. (2022). Seed dormancy, germination and storage behavior of Magnolia sinica, a plant species with extremely small populations of Magnoliaceae. Plant Diversity, 44(1), 94-100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pld.2021.06.009

Martin, A. C. (1946). The comparative internal morphology of seeds. The American Midland Naturalist, 36(3), 513-660. https://doi.org/10.2307/2421457

Mathew, S. P., Chitra, C. R., & Anilkumar, C. (2016). Propagation and ex situ conservation of Endocomia macrocoma subsp. prainii (Myristicaceae) from the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. Journal of Biodiversity & Endanger Species, 4(2), 167. https://doi.org/10.4172/2332- 2543.1000167

Pina-Rodrigues, F. C. M., & Figliolia, M. B. (2005). Embryo immaturity associated with delayed germination in recalcitrant seeds of Virola surinamensis (Rol.) Warb.(Myristicaceae). Seed Science and Technology, 33(2), 375-386. https://doi.org/10.15258/sst.2005.33.2.10

Pritchard, H. W. (2004). Classification of seed storage types for ex situ conservation in relation to temperature and moisture. In E. O. Guerrant, K. Havens & M. Maunder (Eds.), Ex situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild (pp. 139-161). Washington: Island Press.

Santo, A., Mattana, E., Hugot, L., Spinosi, P., & Bacchetta, G. (2014). Seed germination and survival of the endangered psammophilous Rouya polygama (Apiaceae) in different light, temperature and NaCl conditions. Seed Science Research, 24(4), 331-339. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0960258514000282

Schütz, W. (2000). Ecology of seed dormancy and germination in sedges (Carex). Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 3(1), 67-89. https://doi.org/10.1078/1433-8319-00005

Šimura, J., Antoniadi, I., Široká, J., Tarkowská, D., Strnad, M., Ljung, K., & Novák, O. (2018). Plant hormonomics: multiple phytohormone profiling by targeted metabolomics. Plant Physiology, 177(2), 476-489. https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.18.00293

Tanaka-Oda, A., Kenzo, T., & Fukuda, K. (2009). Optimal germination condition by sulfuric acid pretreatment to improve seed germination of Sabina vulgaris Ant. Journal of Forest Research, 14(4), 251-256. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10310-009-0129-5

Trent, T. R., & Walton, G. H. (1988). Evaluation of pulses and other seed legumes for crop rotations in Western Australia. Technical Bulletin-79. Perth: Western Australian.

Vadassery, J., Reichelt, M., Hause, B., Gershenzon, J., Boland, W., & Mithöfer, A. (2012). CML42-mediated calcium signaling coordinates responses to Spodoptera herbivory and abiotic stresses in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, 159(3), 1159-1175. https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.112.198150

Vertucci, C. W., & Farrant, J. M. (2017). Acquisition and loss of desiccation tolerance. In J. Kigel (Eds.), Seed Development and Germination (pp. 237-271) London, United Kingdom: Routledge.

Wyse, S. V., & Dickie, J. B. (2017). Predicting the global incidence of seed desiccation sensitivity. Journal of Ecology, 105(4), 1082-1093. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12725



How to Cite

Anusha, S., Anilkumar, C. ., & Gangaprasad, A. (2023). Embryo maturation, dormancy and seed storage behaviour of Gymnacranthera canarica (King) Warb., a threatened endemic tree species of Southern Western Ghats. Current Botany, 14, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.25081/cb.2023.v14.7799



Regular Articles