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A review of the seed biology of Paeonia species (Paeoniaceae), with particular reference to dormancy and germination
- Zhang, Keliang, Yao, Linjun, Zhang, Yin, Baskin, Jerry M., Baskin, Carol C., Xiong, Zuoming, Tao, Jun
- Planta 2019 v.249 no.2 pp. 291-303
- Paeonia, breeding, cold, cultivars, flowers, germination, gibberellic acid, industry, new variety, ornamental plants, proteomics, seed dormancy, seeds
- MAIN CONCLUSION: Most Paeonia species have epicotyl dormancy. Germination of peony seeds requires warm stratification for embryo growth and radicle protrusion followed by cold stratification for epicotyl growth. The genus Paeonia (Paeoniaceae) includes many popular ornamentals, has colorful flowers and contains several Chinese medicinal species. The germination protocol for seeds of Paeonia species is complex and impedes the breeding of new cultivars and contributes to the rarity and high cost of the plants. Although numerous reports on seed dormancy/germination in peonies are scattered throughout the literature, most of them are in Chinese. The primary aims of this paper are to provide a general overview of the available information on seed dormancy/germination in peonies and to make some suggestions regarding propagation for the peony industry and breeders. Most Paeonia species have epicotyl dormancy. The embryo is differentiated into organs, but it is underdeveloped (small) and must grow inside the seed before the radicle can emerge. Germination of peony seeds requires warm stratification for embryo growth and radicle protrusion followed by cold stratification for epicotyl growth. In addition, the epicotyl is sensitive to cold stratification only after the root has grown to a certain length. GA₃ treatment enhances embryo growth and subsequent germination percentages. Further investigations on the physiology, genetics and proteomics would contribute to a better understanding of seed dormancy in Paeonia.