Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2019, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (5): 437-446.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2018.0293

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Fruit set and seed germination traits of Zygophyllum kaschgaricum

Aysajan ABDUSALAM1,2,Dilinaer ABULA1,ZHANG Kai1,Maireyemugu TUERXUN1,Kadir ABDULRASHID1,2,*(),LI Ling1,2,*()   

  1. 1. College of Life and Geographic Sciences, Kashi University, Kashi, Xinjiang 844006, China;
    2. The Key Laboratory of Ecology and Biological Resources in Yarkand oasis at Colleges & Universities Under the Department of Education of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Kashi University, Kashi, Xinjiang 844006, China;
  • Received:2018-11-17 Accepted:2019-04-17 Online:2019-10-18 Published:2019-05-20
  • Contact: Kadir ABDULRASHID,LI Ling;
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31860121);Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31400279);The High-level Personnel Training Program of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region(QN2016BS0597);The Key Scientific Research Program of the Higher Education Institution of XinJiang(XJEDU2016I042)

Abstract: Aims Zygophyllum kaschgaricum is a rare and secondary protection plant, which grows in the desert environment in southern Xinjiang, China. At present, this species not only distributes decentralized and fragmentally, but also is low population density and severe ageing of populations in the natural populations. To better understand how this species is adapted to its desert habitat, we studied seed set and its germination characteristics and addressed the following questions. 1) What are the seed set characteristics and water absorption of seeds in different dry storage duration in natural population? 2) What are the seed dormancy and drought stress responses of this species in desert environment? Methods For the seed set and seed germination characters, we compared the natural seed set of each fruit and water absorption characteristics of each seed in the different dry storage duration, seed dormancy and germination and their responses to drought stress, and the adaptive strategies of this species in southern Xinjiang (Taklimakan desert) natural populations were analyzed. Important findings The natural fruit and seed set rate of this species is low and seed abortion rate is high in natural populations. There is significant difference in the water absorption capacity of seeds subjected to different durations of dry storage time (p < 0.001), and water absorption capacity of seeds increases with the extension of dry storage time. The seed germination rate increased with the extension of dry storage time under different temperature conditions. The newly matured seeds germinate under different temperature conditions and light cycle (dark 12 h and light 12 h); The germination rate at high temperature (10/20 ℃, 20/30 ℃) and dark conditions is higher than that at low temperature (10/5 ℃, 5/2 ℃) and light conditions. Seed germination rate at different light and temperature conditions under different GA3 concentration was high, but storage period at low temperature does not promote breaking of dormancy and germination in Z. kaschgaricum seeds. The results suggest that the species has shallow physiological dormancy. Storage at dry environment, high temperature and dark mode conditions, and high concentration (50 mmoloL -1) of GA3 were the most suitable factors to break dormancy and thus promote seed germination of Z. kaschgaricum. Drought stress under the high temperature inhibited seed germination. The rainfall during spring and autumn is the most important factor to control the seed germination rate. However, shallow physiological dormancy and seed germination at spring and autumn characteristics can improve for the seedling viability and population expansion of this Z. kaschgaricum in the desert, which may be an adaptive strategy to drought and high temperature stress of desert environment in Taklimakan (southern Xinjiang), China.

Key words: Key words seed germination;, dry storage duration;, water absorption characteristics;, shallow physiological dormancy;, warm temperate desert environment;

Fig. 1

Monthly precipitation and monthly mean air temperatures in natural population of Zygophyllum kaschgaricum in (2015-2017)(mean ± SE)."

Fig. 2

Water uptake curves of Zygophyllum kaschgaricum seeds for different duration of dry storage at room temperatures (mean ± SE)."

Fig. 3

Effects of dry storage period (0、3、6 and 9 months) at room temperature on the germination rate of Zygophyllum kaschgaricum seeds in different temperature under light (A) and darkness (B) (mean ± SE). Bars with different lowercase letters indicate significant differences between different dry storage periods within a temperature range treatment (p < 0.05)."

Table 1

Three-way ANoVA of effects of light condition, temperature and different dry storage period and their interactions on seed germination percentages of Zygophyllum kaschgaricum"

Degree of freedom
Sum of squares
Mean square
F p
Temperature (A)
3 31 596.125 10 532.042 1 040.202 <0.001
光照 Light (B) 1 1 584.375 1 584.375 156.481 <0.001
Storage time (C)
3 17 573.458 857.819 578.550 <0.001
A × B 3 339.125 113.042 11.165 <0.001
A × C 9 1 966.375 218.486 21.578 <0.001
B × C 3 52.458 17.486 1.727 0.307
A × B × C 9 902.042 100.227 9.898 <0.001
合计 Total 96 329 652

Fig. 4

Effects of storage periods (0, 3 and 6 months) at low temperature on the germination rate of Zygophyllum kaschgaricum seeds in different temperature under light (A) and darkness (B) (mean ± SE). Bars with different lowercase letters indicate significant differences between different storage periods within a temperature range treatment (p < 0.05)."

Fig. 5

Germination rate of Zygophyllum kaschgaricum seeds from post-harvest (A, B) and dry storage for 6 months (C, D) in different GA3 concentrations and temperature under light (A, C) and darkness (B, D) (mean ± SE). Bars with different lowercase letters indicate significant differences between GA3 concentrations within a temperature range treatment (p < 0.05)."

Table 2

Four-way ANoVA of effects of light condition, temperature, GA3 concentration and different dry storage period and their interactions on seed germination rate of Zygophyllum kaschgaricum"

处理Treatment 自由度
Degree of freedom
Sum of Squares
Mean Square
F p
Storage time (A)
1 6 007.688 6 007.688 283.06 <0.001
Temperature (B)
3 37 412.38 12 470.79 587.58 <0.001
光照Light (C) 1 2 338.02 2 338.02 110.16 <0.001
赤霉素 GA3 (D) 3 38 984.708 12 994.903 612.275 <0.001
A × B 3 987.85 329.29 15.52 <0.001
A × C 1 70.08 70.08 3.30 <0.072
A × D 3 2 607.85 869.29 40.96 <0.001
B × C 3 312.60 104.20 4.91 <0.001
B × D 9 5 908.83 656.54 30.93 <0.001
C × D 3 109.19 36.40 1.72 0.167
A × B × C 3 174.29 58.09 2.74 <0.05
A × B × D 9 1 051.60 116.85 5.51 <0.001
A × C × D 3 21.38 7.13 0.34 0.800
B × C × D 9 130.85 14.54 0.69 0.721
A × B × C × D 9 257.92 28.66 1.35 0.218
合计 Total 192 1 047 186

Fig. 6

Germination rate of Zygophyllum kaschgaricum seeds from post-harvest (A, B) and dry storage for 6 months (C, D) in different PEG concentrations and temperature under light (A, C) and darkness (B, D) (mean ± SE). Bars with different lowercase letters indicate significant differences between PEG concentrations within a temperature range treatment (p < 0.05)."

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