Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 251–256 | Cite as

Optimal germination condition by sulfuric acid pretreatment to improve seed germination of Sabina vulgaris Ant.

Short Communication


Understanding the germination traits of plants is important not only for understanding natural regeneration processes but also for developing seedling production techniques for planting. Sabina vulgaris Ant. is a common species used for reforestation in semi-arid areas of the Mu-Us Desert, in Inner Mongolia, China, but its extremely low germination rate, both in situ and in vivo, is a bottleneck for seedling production. Sulfuric acid pretreatment was applied to improve germination, and the germination rate was compared for different soaking time (10, 30, 60, 90, and 120 min), different temperatures (10, 15, 20, 30, and 35°C) and under different lighting conditions (dark and light). Sulfuric acid treatment gave a high germination rate, reaching 60% at 30 days after sowing. However, the non-treated seeds produced no germination. The optimal treatment time in sulfuric acid was 120 min. Germination after sulfuric acid treatment increased at incubation temperatures from 10 to 30°C, but decreased at 35°C. Incubation at 25–30°C gave maximum germination of more than 50%. Light treatment had little effect on germination. Pretreatment with sulfuric acid improved water absorption by the embryo by creating cracks and cavities in the seed coat tissue. These results indicated that S. vulgaris seeds have physical dormancy caused by their hard seed coats, which prevents absorption of water into the embryo. A combination of pretreatment with sulfuric acid and incubation at 25–30°C was most effective in improving the germination of S. vulgaris seeds.


Germination Pretreatment Sabina vulgaris Ant. Seed dormancy Sulfuric acid 



The authors thank A. Ishida of FFPRI and students of the Osaka University of Foreign Studies for their kind support. This research was partly funded by the Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant from The Japan Science Society.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Forest Society and Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Frontier SciencesUniversity of TokyoKashiwaJapan
  2. 2.Forestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan

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