Deep complex morphophysiological dormancy in seeds of Viburnum plicatum var. formosanum (Adoxaceae) from subtropical mountains

Shun Ying Chen, Chiung Pin Liu, Carol C. Baskin, Ching Te Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Viburnum is a temperate-zone genus that also occurs in mountains of South America and Malesia, and seeds of many species have morphophysiological dormancy (MPD). Information on the level of MPD in seeds of species in various clades of Viburnum potentially would increase our understanding of the evolutionary relationships between the nine levels of MPD. Our aim was to determine the level of MPD in seeds of Viburnum plicatum var. formosanum that is endemic to mountains (1800-3000 m a.s.l.) in Taiwan and a member of the Lutescentia clade. The temperature requirements for embryo growth and root and shoot emergence and response of seeds to gibberellic acid (GA) were determined. No fresh seeds germinated during 16 weeks of incubation at 15/5, 20/10, 25/15, 30/20 or 25°C. Embryo growth and root emergence occurred during moist cold stratification at 5°C or at a temperature sequence of 15/5 to 5°C. During cold stratification, embryos length increased from 0.76 ± 0.06 to 3.40 ± 0.26 mm and the embryo length:seed length ratio from 0.20 ± 0.02 to 0.68 ± 0.07. In a temperature sequence simulating field conditions, embryos grew inside seeds at 5°C, roots emerged at 15/5°C and shoots emerged at 20/10°C. The optimum temperature for embryo growth was 5°C. Neither GA3 nor GA4 was effective in promoting root emergence. We conclude that seeds of V. plicatum var. formosanum have deep complex MPD, which is a first report for Viburnum. Dormancy release during the cool season at high elevations helps to ensure that seeds germinate at the beginning of the warm season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-242
Number of pages7
JournalSeed Science Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021.


  • Gibberellins
  • Moist cold stratification
  • Seed germination
  • Underdeveloped embryo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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