Seed dormancy and dormancy-breaking methods in Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel. (Poaceae)

X. Q. He, Y. R. Wang, X. W. Hu, C. C. Baskin, J. M. Baskin, Y. Y. Lv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel. is a perennial grass with high productivity and forage value; however, poor stand establishment, often due to seed dormancy, limits its widespread use for forage production. To investigate the mechanism of seed dormancy and to develop effective methods of improving germination, the contribution of each part of the caryopsis to dormancy was investigated, and a number of single or combined dormancy-breaking pre-treatments were conducted using three seed lots. The palea, lemma, pericarp/testa, and endosperm all contributed to seed dormancy. The contribution of each part to dormancy was 23·4%, lemma; 6·2%, palea; 28·4%, pericarp/testa; and 42·0%, endosperm. Hull (palea and lemma) removal, pericarp/testa piercing, and soaking in distilled water or 30% sodium hydroxide (NaOH) significantly decreased the percentage of dormant seeds (i.e. increased germination). Treating hull-removed and pericarp/testa-pierced seeds with gibberellic acid (GA3) also significantly decreased the percentage of dormant seeds. Compared with each of the single pre-treatments, the combined pre-treatment of pre-soaking in water for 1 d, then 30% NaOH for 60 min and treating with 300 μm GA3 resulted in the highest germination (89%); and seed viability was 91%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-648
Number of pages8
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the National Basic Research Program (973 program) of China (2014CB138704), (2007CB108904), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30771532), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Z109021205) for supporting this research. We also thank Margaret Cargill for helpful revision of an early draft of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • Leymus chinensis
  • dormancy-breaking methods
  • seed dormancy
  • seed germination
  • seed imbibition
  • seed viability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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