Possible Relation of Linolenic Acid to the Longevity and Germination of Pine Seed


SEEDS of some pines, such as Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi), can be stored in air-tight jars at room temperature for a long time. Even after ten years of storage one may expect as much as 40 per cent of viable seed. When the seeds of Jeffrey pine are sown in a greenhouse they germinate rapidly and abundantly. Many other pines, as, for example, sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), have short-lived seed. Under ordinary storage conditions sugar pine seeds lose their viability rapidly, and after five years of storage their germination is usually nil. At 5° C. the viability of sugar pine seed is maintained for a long time; in one case, after eight years of cold storage, germination amounted to 86 per cent of the original. Normally seeds of sugar pine sown in a greenhouse either fail to germinate completely or give a very small percentage of germination. When, however, the seeds are chilled in some moist medium for three months at 5° C, they germinate as well as those of Jeffrey pine. This prolonged period at a low temperature, necessary for germination of refractory seeds, can be designated as the period of incipient germination.


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    Meyerhof, Otto, "Chemical Dynamics of Life Phaenomena" (Philadelphia and London, J. B. Lippincott Co., 1924).

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MIROV, N. Possible Relation of Linolenic Acid to the Longevity and Germination of Pine Seed. Nature 154, 218–219 (1944). https://doi.org/10.1038/154218a0

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