Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 73–82 | Cite as

Butenolide from plant-derived smoke enhances germination and seedling growth of arable weed species

  • Matthew I. Daws
  • Jennifer Davies
  • Hugh W. Pritchard
  • Neville A. C. Brown
  • Johannes Van Staden
Original Paper

Abstract

We tested the applicability of the recently identified major germination cue from smoke (a butenolide 3-methyl-2Hfuro[2,3-c]pyran-2-one) on 18 weed species from non-fire prone environments. For the study species we compared the relative effectiveness of alternating temperatures, KNO3, GA3, smoke water and the butenolide on germination percentage, germination rate and seedling mass. We found that while smoke stimulated germination in a number of species it also had negative impacts on other species. In addition, the butenolide was effective on the widest range of species in terms of enhancing germination percentage, rate and seedling mass. However, none of the treatments, including butenolide were effective on all species. Our data demonstrate that butenolide may have wide applicability as a germination and seedling growth stimulant irrespective of whether the species come from fire-prone habitats.

Keywords

Arable weed Butenolide Germination Seed Smoke 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Financial support to M.I. Daws and J. Davies was provided by the Millennium Commission, The Wellcome Trust and Orange plc. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew receives grant-aided support from Defra, UK. J. Van Staden was supported by the National Research Foundation, South Africa.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew I. Daws
    • 1
  • Jennifer Davies
    • 1
  • Hugh W. Pritchard
    • 1
  • Neville A. C. Brown
    • 2
  • Johannes Van Staden
    • 3
  1. 1.Seed Conservation DepartmentRoyal Botanic Gardens KewArdinglyUK
  2. 2.Horticultural Research, Kirstenbosch Research CentreSouth African National Biodiversity InstituteCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, School of Biological and Conservation SciencesUniversity of Kwazulu-NatalScottsvilleSouth Africa

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