Plant Ecology

, Volume 155, Issue 2, pp 245–257 | Cite as

Differentiation in seed germination among populations of Capsicum annuum along a latitudinal gradient in Mexico

  • Sergio Hernández-Verdugo
  • Ken Oyama
  • Carlos Vázquez-Yanes


Toinvestigate variation in germination capability of wild Capsicumannuum seeds, the effects of light, fluctuating temperature,gibberellic acid (GA), soaking and sulfuric acid were analyzed in samples from14 populations from northwest Mexico. Germination was inhibited by darkness inall populations studied. Darkness inhibition of germination was overcome byfluctuating temperature and GA, factors which also increased germinationpercentage but not germination rate. Soaking treatments did not significantlyincrease germination of C. annuum seeds, while sulfuricacid treatments had negative effects on the process. Populations showed highvariation in germination response in all treatments, except for continuousdarkness. Principal component analysis differentiated some populations withhighgermination percentage and slow germination rate. Such differences did notcorrelate with climatic variables from collection sites. Given the variation ingermination patterns observed, some of these totally contrasting, we have to becautious when considering the results of studies based on a single wildpopulation.

Chile pepper Domestication Light Population differentiation Seed germination Temperature fluctuation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Angevine M.W. and Chabot B.F. 1979. Seed germination syndromes in higher plants. In: Solbrig O.T., Jain S., Johnson G.B. and Raven P.H. (eds), Topics in Plant Population Biology. Columbia University, New York, pp. 188–206.Google Scholar
  2. Berrie A.M.M. and Drennan D.S.H. 1971. The effect of hydratation-dehydratation on seed germination. New Phytologist. 70: 135–142.Google Scholar
  3. Bewley J.D. and Black M. 1982. Physiology and biochemistry of seeds in relation to germination. In: Viability, dormancy and environmental control. vol. 2 Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  4. Bewley J.D. and Black M. 1985. Seeds. Physiology of Development and Germination. Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  5. D'Arcy W.G. and Eshbaugh W.H. 1974. New World peppers (Capsicum-Solanaceae) of north of Colombia. Baileya. 19: 93–103.Google Scholar
  6. Gutterman Y. 1992. Maternal effects on seeds during development. In: Fenner M. (ed.), Seeds. The ecology of regeneration in plant communities. CAB. International, Wallingford, pp. 27–59.Google Scholar
  7. Hendrix S.D. 1984. Variation in seed weight and its effects on germination in Pastinaca sativa L. (Umbelliferae). American Journal of Botany. 71: 795–802.Google Scholar
  8. Hernández-Verdugo S., Guevara-González R.G., Rivera-Bustamante R.F., Vázquez-Yanes C. and Oyama K. 1998. Los parientes silvestres del chile (Capsicum spp.) como recursos genéticos. Boletín de la Sociedad Botánica de México. 62: 171–181.Google Scholar
  9. Hernández-Verdugo S., Dávila P. and Oyama K. 1999. Síntesis del conocimiento taxonómico, origen y domesticación del género Capsicum. Boletín de la Sociedad Botánica de México. 64: 65–84 (in press).Google Scholar
  10. Hernández-Verdugo S., Luna-Reyes R. and Oyama K. 2001. Genetic structure and differentiation of wild and domesticated populations of Capsicum annuum from Mexico. Plant Systematics and Evolution. (in press).Google Scholar
  11. Hernández-Verdugo S., Guevara-González R.G., Rivera-Bustamente S. and Oyama K. 2001. Screening wild plants of Capsicum annuum for resistance to Pepper Huasteco Virus: Presence of viral DNA and differentiation among populations. Euphytica. (in press).Google Scholar
  12. Hilton J.R. 1983. The influence of light on the germination of Senecio vulgaris L. New Phytologist. 94: 29–37.Google Scholar
  13. Jain S.K. 1982. Variation and adaptative role of seed dormancy in some annual grassland species. Botanical Gazette. 143: 101–106.Google Scholar
  14. Karssen C.M., Zagórski S., Kepeczynsky J. and Groot S.P.C. 1989. Key role for endogenous gibberellins in the control of seed germination. Annals of Botany. 63: 71–80.Google Scholar
  15. Khan M.A. and Ungar I.A. 1998. Seed germination and dormancy of Polygonum aviculare L. as influenced by salinity, temperature, and gibberellic acid. Seed Science and Technology. 26: 107–117.Google Scholar
  16. Ladizinsky G. 1987. Pulse domestication before cultivation. Economic Botany. 41: 60–65.Google Scholar
  17. Loaiza-Figueroa F., Ritland K., Laborde-Casino J.A. and Tanksley 1989. Patterns of genetic variation of the genus Capsicum (Solanaceae) in Mexico. Plant Systematics and Evolution. 165: 159–188.Google Scholar
  18. McLeod M.J., Guttman S.Y., Eshbaugh W.H. and Rayle R.E. 1983. An electrophoretic study of evolution in Capsicum (Solanaceae). Evolution. 37: 562–574.Google Scholar
  19. Meyer S.E. 1992. Habitat correlated variation in firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatonii Gray: Scrophulariaceae) seed germination response. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 119: 268–279.Google Scholar
  20. Meyer S.E. and Monsen S.B. 1991. Habitat-correlated variation in mountain big sagebrush (Artemisa tridentata ssp. vaseyana) seed germination patterns. Ecology. 72: 739–742.Google Scholar
  21. Meyer S.E. and Kitchen S.G. 1994. Life history variation in blue flax (Linum perenne: Linaceae): seed germination phenology. American Journal of Botany. 81: 528–535.Google Scholar
  22. Meyer S.E., McArthur E.D. and Jorgensen G.L. 1989. Variation in germination response to temperature in rabbitbrush (Charysothamnus nauseosus: Asteraceae) and its ecological implications. American Journal of Botany. 76: 981–991.Google Scholar
  23. Meyer S.E., Monsen S.B. and McArthur E.D. 1990. Germination response of Artemisa tridentata (Asteraceae) to light and chilly patterns of between-population variation. Botanical Gazette. 151: 176–183.Google Scholar
  24. Meyer S.E., Kitchen S.G. and Carlson S.L. 1995. Seed germination timing patterns in intermountain Penstemon (Scrophulariaceae). American Journal of Botany. 82: 377–389.Google Scholar
  25. Meyer S.E., Allen P.S. and Beckstead J. 1997. Seed germination regulation in Bromus tectorum (Poaceae) and its ecological significance. Oikos. 78: 474–485.Google Scholar
  26. Murray K.G., Russel S., Picone C.M., Winnett-Murray K., Sherwood W. and Kuhlmann M.L. 1994. Fruit laxatives and seed passage rates in frugivores: consequences for plant reproductive success. Ecology. 75: 989–994.Google Scholar
  27. Naylor R.E.L. and Abdalla A.F. 1982. Variation in germination behaviour. Seed Science and Technology. 10: 67–76.Google Scholar
  28. Paz L. and Vázquez-Yanes C. 1998. Comparative seed ecophysiology of wild and cultivated Carica papaya trees from a tropical rain forest region in Mexico. Tree Physiology. 18: 277–280.Google Scholar
  29. Pegtel D.M. 1985. Germination in populations of Solanum dulcamara L. from contrasting habitats. New Phytologist. 100: 671–679.Google Scholar
  30. Pérez-García F. and Durán J.M. 1990. The effect of giberellic acid on germination of Onopordum nervosum Boiss. Seed Science and Technology. 18: 83–88.Google Scholar
  31. Pickersgill B. 1971. Relationships between weedy and cultivated forms in some species of chilli peppers (genus Capsicum). Evolution. 25: 683–691.Google Scholar
  32. Pons T.L. 1992. Seed responses to light. In: Fenner M. (ed.), Seeds. The Ecology of Regeneration in Plant Communities. CAB. International, Wallingford, pp. 258–284.Google Scholar
  33. Popay A.I. and Roberts E.H. 1970. Factors involved in the dormancy and germination of Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medic. and Senecio vulgaris L. Journal of Ecology. 58: 103–122.Google Scholar
  34. Probert R.J. 1992. The role of temperature in germination ecophysiology. In: Fenner M. (ed.), Seeds. The ecology of regeneration in plant communities. CAB. International, Wallingford, pp. 285–325.Google Scholar
  35. Probert R.J., Smith R.D. and Birch P. 1985. Germination responses to light and alternating temperatures in European populations of Dactylis glomerata L. I. Variability in relation to origin. New Phytologist. 99: 305–316.Google Scholar
  36. Ren Z. and Abbott R.J. 1991. Seed dormancy in Mediterranean Senecio vulgaris L. New Phytologist. 117: 673–678.Google Scholar
  37. Roach D.A. and Wulff R. 1987. Maternal effects in plants. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 18: 209–223.Google Scholar
  38. Schütz W. and Milberg P. 1997. Seed dormancy in Carex canescens: regional differences and ecological consequences. Oikos. 78: 420–428.Google Scholar
  39. Silvertown J.W. 1981. Seed size, lifespan and germination date as coadapted features of plant life history. The American Naturalist. 118: 860–864.Google Scholar
  40. Stamp N.E. 1990. Production and effect of seed size in a grassland annual Erodium brachycarpum (Geraniaceae). American Journal of Botany. 77: 872–882.Google Scholar
  41. Tesfaye M. 1992. The effect of soaking, temperature and other pretreatments on the germination of "enset" seed. Seed Science and Technology. 20: 533–538.Google Scholar
  42. Thompson K., Grime J.P. and Mason G. 1977. Seed germination in responses to diurnal fluctuations in temperature. Nature. 267: 147–148.Google Scholar
  43. Thompson P.A. 1975. Characterization of the germination responses of Silene dioica (L.) Claiv., populations from Europe. Annals of Botany. 39: 1–19.Google Scholar
  44. Upreti J. and Dhar U. 1996. Study on seed germination of a leguminous liana-Bauhinia vahlii Wijht & Arnot. Seed Science and Technology. 25: 187–194.Google Scholar
  45. Vázquez-Dávila M.A. 1996. El amash y el pistoqué: un ejemplo de la etnoecología de los chontales de Tabasco. México. Etnoecológica. 3: 59–69.Google Scholar
  46. Vázquez-Yanes C. and Orozco-Segovia A. 1982. Seed germination in a tropical rain forest pioneer tree (Heliocarpus donnellsmithii) in response to diurnal fluctuations of temperature. Physiologia Plantarum. 56: 295–298.Google Scholar
  47. Vázquez-Yanes C. and Orozco-Segovia A. 1996. Comparative longevity of seeds of five tropical rain forest woody species stored under different moisture conditions. Canadian Journal of Botany. 74: 1635–1639.Google Scholar
  48. Venable D.L. and Brown J.S. 1988. The selective interaction of dispersal, dormancy, and seed size as adaptations for reducing risk in variable environments. The American Naturalist. 131: 360–384.Google Scholar
  49. Weis I.M. 1982. The effects of propagule size on germination and seedling growth in Mirabilis hirsuta. Canadian Journal of Botany. 60: 1868–1874.Google Scholar
  50. Wulff R.D. 1973. Intrapopulational variation in the germination of seeds in Hiptis suaveolens. Ecology. 54: 646–649.Google Scholar
  51. Wulff R. 1995. Enviromental maternal effects on seed quality and germination. In: Kigel J. and Galili G. (eds), Seed Development and Germination. Marcel Dekker Inc., pp. 491–505.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergio Hernández-Verdugo
    • 1
  • Ken Oyama
    • 2
  • Carlos Vázquez-Yanes
    • 2
  1. 1.Facultad de AgronomíaUniversidad Autónoma de SinaloaSinaloaMexico
  2. 2.UNAM. Apdo.Instituto de EcologíaMéxicoMexico

Personalised recommendations