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Do the seeds of Solidago gigantea Aiton have physiological determinants of invasiveness?

Bochenek, Anna, Synowiec, Agnieszka, Kondrat, Bożena, Szymczak, Milena, Lahuta, Lesław B., Gołaszewski, Janusz
Acta physiologiae plantarum 2016 v.38 no.6 pp. 159
Solidago gigantea, abscisic acid, carbohydrates, fruits, germination, humidity, invasive species, seed dormancy, seeds, temperature, vigor, weeds, Europe
Solidago gigantea Ait. (goldenrod) belongs to the most expansive environmental weeds, and it is the most dangerous plant-invader of American origin in Europe. The species easily propagates vegetatively, but it also produces large amounts of wind-disseminated achenes that contribute to the colonization of new areas. A sound knowledge of the germination biology of goldenrods is required to control the spread of this invasive species. The objective of this study was to investigate selected aspects of germination of giant goldenrod achenes and to determine: the influence of temperature and humidity on seed dormancy and germination, the content of soluble carbohydrates in seeds and the sensitivity of seeds to selected phytohormones. Unlike native weed species of the same family, S. gigantea seeds did not display symptoms of innate dormancy, and high seed vigor was maintained after storage in a wide range of temperatures, in both dry and moist conditions. The physiological mechanisms behind those traits have not yet been fully explored, but they could be associated with the relatively high sucrose-to-hexose ratio in seeds and significant sensitivity to abscisic acid. More extensive research is required to explain the internal causes for the atypical behavior of goldenrod seeds during dry and moist storage, especially in the context of its invasiveness, because the species has a preference for sites located close to river banks.