Effect of fruit maturity, seed weight and storage time on the viability and germination of the seed of candelilla (Euphorbia antisiphylitica Zucc.)

MA Alvarado-Vázquez, R Foroughbakhch, MA Guzmán-Lucio, A Rocha-Estrada, JL Hernández-Piñero, ML Cárdenas-Ávila, BM Soto-García


Candelilla (Euphorbia antisiphylitica Zucc.) is a very important plant resource in the arid lands of Northern Mexico. This is because the wax content coating the stem has unique properties which have been useful for multiple applications in the food industry, electronics, cosmetics, etc. However, the intensive exploitation of this resource has caused a great decrease in the populations of this species making necessary to consider strategies for their conservation and sustainable use. One of the primary needs with regeneration purposes is to know their reproductive processes, particularly the biotic and/or abiotic factors that determine the viability and germination of seeds. The present study evaluated the (1) germination and seed viability in relation to the ripeness degree of the fruit at the time of collection, (2) weight of the seed (low, medium and high), and (3) storage time (1, 3, and 5 months). Fruits from four locations, two in the State of Coahuila (Las Coloradas and Candela) and two in the State of Nuevo Leon (Icamole 1 and Icamole 2), were collected. Three germination assays were carried out corresponding to each month of storage. Seed viability was determined by the tetrazolium test. The average weight of the candelilla seeds was 0.0029 ± 0.0010 g, with extreme average values of 0.0018 ± 0.0006 g at Las Coloradas and 0.0036 ± 0.0010 g in Icamole 2. Those seeds with heavier weight obtained from red fruits and with 1 month of storage showed the highest average percentage of viability (66.87 ± 24.19%). At the same time, seeds with around average weight, obtained from red fruits and five months of storage, showed the highest average germination percentage (50.00 ± 9.42%).

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Phyton. International Journal of Experimental Botany. ISSN print 0031-9457 ISSN en line 1851-5657 Fundación Rómulo Raggio Gaspar Campos 861,  Vicente López, Buenos Aires, Argentina (C.P. 1638) Tel 54 11 4791-0868 / 4796-1456 revistaphyton@fund-romuloraggio.org.ar www.revistaphyton.fund-romuloraggio.org.ar