, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 383-388

Maternally-induced modification of progeny phenotypes in the C4 weed Echinochloa crus-galli: An analysis of seed constituents and performance

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To clarify the physiological basis of maternal inheritance we examined the effect of the thermal environment of mother plants of Echinochloa crus-galli on subsequent seed mass, content and quality. The same plants were grown in a warm and a cold environment until seeds were produced and, since E. crus-galli is a highly inbred species, the observed variation in seed production was a purely plastic response to the environment. When mother plants were grown at high temperature, average seed mass, variance and germinability were low. Cold maturation led to the production of more large seeds than warm maturing temperature. The latter seeds were deprived of reserve constituents. Seeds matured at high temperature had high concentrations of K+ and Mn2+ but lower concentrations of starch and protein.