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Write a short note on seed dormancy?

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: An evolutionary strategy that in some ecological environments prevents seeds from germinating, which would usually lead to a low or high likelihood of survival of seedlings.

Complete answer:
Seed dormancy can be characterised as the state that occurs in which seeds are prevented from germinating, including temperature, water, light, gas, seed coatings, and other mechanical restrictions, even under favourable environmental conditions for germination.

The main explanation behind these conditions is that before being capable of germination, they need a period of rest. Such situations can range from days to months and even years. The combination of light, water, heat, gases, seed coats and hormone structures are these conditions.

Light, temperature, hard seed coat, time after maturation, germination inhibitors, immaturity of the seed embryo, impermeability of the seed coat to water, impermeability of the seed coat to oxygen, mechanically resistant seed coat, presence of high condensed solutes, etc. are some major causes of seed dormancy.

There are the following types of seed dormancy:
> Innate dormancy: It is the state of seeds that, even if conditions appropriate for seedling growth are given, are incapable of germination. This failure to germinate may be due to the embryo being immature at the time of dispersal in some animals.

> Enforced dormancy: It is the state of seeds that are unable to germinate because of an environmental restriction that requires a sufficient quantity of moisture, oxygen, light and an acceptable temperature.

> Induced dormancy: This form of seed dormancy occurs when water is consumed by the seed, but is put under extremely unfavourable germination conditions. Finally, even in more suitable conditions, seeds fail to germinate.

When the embryo gets suitable surroundings such as adaptive moisture and temperature, the essence of dormancy ceases. Due to the rupture of the smoothing action of natural agents such as microorganisms, temperature, and abrasion by the digestive tract of birds and animals that feed on these seeds, the seed coat that occurs in several species becomes permeable.

Note: Seed dormancy is a long-term process that functions as a survival mechanism. Seeds can adapt and resist improper germination in adverse circumstances. Yet standardised germination does not occur. Dormancy makes it impossible to sustain the population of the plants and interferes in the procedure of seed research.