The effects of mycofloral infection on the viability and ultrastructure of wet-stored recalcitrant seeds of Avicennia marina (Forssk.) Vierh

Claudia Calistru, Michelle McLean, N. W. Pammenter, Patricia Berjak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Three questions are considered in the context of the possible effects of seed-associated mycoflora, typified by Fusarium moniliforme, during hydrated storage of recalcitrant propagules of the tropical species, Avicennia marina. These pertain to storage lifespan, whether seed susceptibility to fungal attack changes and the possibility of discriminating ultrastructurally between inherent deteriorative changes and those that are fungally-induced. The data indicate unequivocally that if fungal activity is curtailed, then the hydrated storage lifespan of A. marina seeds can be considerably extended. When inoculated immediately with F. moniliforme, newly harvested seeds were extremely susceptible to the adverse effects of the fungus, while seeds that had been wet-stored for 4 d showed a considerably heightened resilience to the effects of the fungus when inoculated at that stage. The enhanced resilience, although declining, persisted in seeds stored hydrated for up to 10 d prior to inoculation, being lost after 12 d. After 14 d of hydrated storage, seeds became more susceptible to the effects of the fungus than those in the newly harvested condition. The resilience of seeds that had been stored in the short-term was associated with ultrastructural changes indicative of enhanced metabolic activity associated with the onset of germination. However, with the sustained stress imposed by wet-storage conditions, the seeds became increasingly badly affected by the fungus. While it was not possible to discriminate with certainty among deteriorative subcellular events ascribable to inherent deterioration or the effects of the fungus, it is concluded that a comparison of the timing of the onset of degeneration may well be diagnostic of its cause.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-353
Number of pages13
JournalSeed Science Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes


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