A meta-analysis of the effects of treatments used to break dormancy in seeds of the megagenus Astragalus (Fabaceae)

Elias Soltani, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin, Fatemeh Benakashani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Astragalus is the largest genus of seed plants with 3000 or more species that occurs naturally on several continents. The genus has some use as a forage and medicine and in industry, and many of the species are rare endemics threatened with extinction. The seeds are reported to be dormant at maturity, and various treatments have been used in an attempt to germinate them. Our primary aim was to determine via a meta-analysis the most effective way(s) to break dormancy in seeds of this species-rich genus. Mechanical and chemical (conc. sulphuric acid) scarification were by far the best of 12 treatments for breaking seed dormancy of the 40 species included in our meta-analysis, whereas prechilling, gibberellin and smoke were ineffective. These results along with those of imbibition tests confirm that seeds of the examined Astragalus species have physical dormancy (PY). Further, PY in these 40 species and (its documented occurrence) in 118 species that could not be included in our meta-analysis transcends climatic and geographic boundaries, edaphic conditions, life cycle/life form types and infrageneric phylogeny. Thus, it seems likely that most species of Astragalus have PY. However, in addition to PY, physiological dormancy (PD), that is, combinational dormancy (PY + PD), has been reported in a few species of Astragalus. This study should be useful to both basic and applied scientists who want to germinate seeds of Astragalus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-233
Number of pages10
JournalSeed Science Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2020.


  • chemical scarification
  • combinational dormancy
  • dormancy-breaking treatments
  • impermeable seed coat
  • mechanical scarification
  • physical dormancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A meta-analysis of the effects of treatments used to break dormancy in seeds of the megagenus Astragalus (Fabaceae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this