Dormancy-breaking treatments for enhancing seed germination in plant Kitaibela vitifolia Willd.



Vine-leaved kitaibelia (Kitaibela vitifolia Willd.), also known as balkanmalva or chalice flower, is a critically endangered plant species with a high risk of extinction in the wild. A reason given for this is, among others, a low germination rate primarily caused by dormancy. The present study evaluated the seed germination and seedling growth parameters of vine-leaved kitaibelia in response to eight different pre-sowing treatments. The final germination percentage ranged from 0 % to 55 %, depending on the pre-sowing treatment. The most effective method for breaking dormancy and increasing vine-leaved kitaibelia seed germination was the treatment with seeds soaked in H2SO4 for 5 min. The mechanical scarification of vine-leaved kitaibelia seeds also improved germination as compared to control treatment, while treatments with nitric acid and gibberellic acid were not effective in enhancing seed germination. All evaluated seedling growth parameters were not affected by pre-sowing treatments. Considering that successful germination and seedling establishment are crucial for the regeneration of vine-leaved kitaibelia further studies are required in order to identify other pre-sowing treatments that could further enhance seed germination and, consequently, seedling development.


climate chamber; greenhouse; habitat restoration; seedling growth; plant protection

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