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Seed germination of seven Sahelian legume species

Sy A., Grouzis M., Danthu P.. 2001. Journal of Arid Environments, 49 : p. 875-882.

DOI: 10.1006/jare.2001.0818

As part of the restoration of degraded land south of the Sahara, an experimental study has been carried out on the germinative properties of the seeds of seven Sahelian leguminous species (Cassia obtusifolia, Cassia occidentalis, Indigo-fera astragalina, Indigofera senegalensis, Indigofera tinctoria, Sesbania pachycarpa and Tephrosia purpurea). Analysis of the effects of temperature, pretreatment and water potential has enabled definition of their optimum germination conditions. For the temperature range studied (20-40°C), germination capacity was significantly greater between 30 and 35°C for all species. All species except Cassia obtusifolia developed a very strong integumental inhibition which was easily eliminated by mechanical scarification or immersion in concentrated sulphuric acid (HZSO4, 95%). Study of the influence of water potential on germination showed that these species are able to germinate at relatively low water potentials. Different patterns of response to water stress are highlighted and explained by the different behaviours of these species in the semi-arid conditions of the Sahelian environment.

Mots-clés : fabaceae; germination; graine; résistance à la sécheresse; sahel; sénégal

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