STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF THE MUCILAGINOUS SEED COATS OF PLANTAGO CORONOPUS INHABITING THE NEGEV DESERT OF ISRAEL

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences
View More View Less
  • 1 Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research and Department of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
  • 2 Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research and Department of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Plantago coronopus var. crassipes is a common annual plant in many areas of the Negev Desert highlands.

The dry seed coat cross section and surface structure of P. coronopus seeds before the first wetting were examined by SEM, as were the freeze-dried mucilage and adhesion of the seeds to the soil crust. When wetted, the mucilaginous layer forms, and seeds on the soil surface adhere to the soil crust. Some P. coronopus mucilaginous seeds may be dispersed by rain, even after less then 10 min of wetting. The dry seeds can float on run-on water for 10–44 min and are then dispersed along runnels into depressions, or adhere within a few minutes to the wet soil crust near the dry mother plant. Seeds matured on dry plants in a natural habitat in spring 1995, germinated in December 1995 to 96% after 72 h at 20 °C in light, but only to 2% in dark.

The importance of mucilaginous seeds for the survival of the plant species under desert conditions is discussed.

  • Evenari M., Gutterman Y.The photoperiodic response of some desert plants. Z. Pflanzenphysiol. 1966 54 7 27

  • Evenari ML, Shanan L., Tadmor N.The Negev. The challenge of a desert., 2nd ed. Harvard University Press Cambridge, MA. 1982

    • Export Citation
  • Fahn A.Physico-anatomical investigations in the dispersal apparatus of some fruits. Palest. J. Bot. 1947 4 36 45

  • Fahn A.Plant anatomy. Pergamon Press Oxford 1967

  • Fahn A., Werker E., Anatomical mechanisms of seed dispersal Seed biology. Koslovsky T.T.Academic Press New York 1972 152 221

  • Friedman J., Stein Z.The influence of seed dispersal mechanisms on the dispersion of Anastatica hierochuntica (Cruciferae) in the Negev desert Israel. J. Ecol. 1980 68 43 50

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Feinbrun-Dothan N.Flora Palestina, Part Three—plates. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Jerusalem. 1977

    • Export Citation
  • Feinbrun-Dothan N.Flora Palestina, Part Three—text. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Jerusalem. 1978

    • Export Citation
  • Friedman J., Gunderman N., Ellis M.Water response of the hygrochastic skeletons of the True Rose of Jericho (Anastatica hierochuntica L.). Oecologia 1978 32 289 301

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • v. Guttenberg H., Die Bewegungsgewebe Handbuch der Pflanzenanatomie. Gebr. Linsbauer K.Borntraeger Berlin 1926Abt. 1. Teil 2. Band 5

  • Gutterman Y.Seed dispersal by rain (ombrohydrochory) in some of the flowering desert plants in the deserts of Israel and the Sinai Peninsula. 1990 23b 841 852Mitt. Inst. Allg. Bot. Hamburg

    • Export Citation
  • Gutterman Y.Seed germination in desert plants. Berlin Springer 1993Adaptations of desert organisms

    • Export Citation
  • Gutterman Y., Golan T., Garsani M.Porcupine diggings as a unique ecological system in a desert environment. Oecologia 1990 85 122 127

  • Gutterman Y., Shem-Tov S.Mucilaginous seed coat structure of Carrichtera annua, Anastatica hierochontica from populations occuring in the Negev Desert highlands of Israel, and adhesions of the seeds to the desert soil crust. J. Arid Environ, (in press)

  • Heydecker W., Higgins J., Gulliver R.L.Accelerated germination by osmotic seed treatment. Nature 1973 24642

  • Osborne D.J., Sharon R., Ben-Ishai R.DNA integrity and repair. Isr. J. Bot. 1980/81 29 259 272

  • Sokal R.R., Rohlf F.J.Biometry. The principles and practice of statistics in biological research., 2nd ed. Freeman San Francisco 1981

    • Export Citation
  • Steinbrinck C., Schinz H.Über die anatomische Ursache der hygochastischen Bewegungen der sog. Jerichorosen, usw. Flora 1908 98 471 500

  • Van der Pijl L.Principles of dispersal in higher plants., 3rd ed. Berlin Springer 1982

    • Export Citation
  • Zohary M.Die verbreitungsökologischen Verhältnisse der Pflanzen Palästinas, Die antitelechorischen Erscheinungen. Beih. Bot. Zentr. 1937 56 1 55

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zohary M., Fahn A.Anatomical-carpological observations in some hygrochastic plants of the oriental flora. Palest. J. Bot. 1941 2 125 135

  • Zohary M.Plant life of Palestine. Ronald New York 1962

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 128 86 10
Full Text Views 11 2 0
PDF Downloads 6 3 0