Why are the seeds of this species difficult? Some wild-growing species of the Poaceae family can produce a high proportion of empty seeds, which collectors and curators must take account of. The seeds may have physiological dormancy, which can be overcome by performing delicate surgery to enable the embryo to grow.
Eleusine indica (Image: S. Wood, RBG Kew)
This species has Orthodox seeds - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.
Remove the seed covering structures before sowing the seeds on agar, germination paper or sand, and germinate under alternating temperature regimes of 35/20ºC or 40/20ºC (with an 8/16hr photoperiod), depending on local climatic conditions. It may be necessary to add 101 mg/l potassium nitrate to the germination medium to encourage germination. Perform a cut-test on any seeds that have not germinated, to check for empty seeds. All empty seeds are non-viable in germination tests.
The seeds of this species may be Physiologically Dormant. If germination is low, this type of seed dormancy can be overcome by performing delicate surgery to enable the embryo to grow. Excise the tissue near the root tip.
(Image: S. Wood, RBG Kew)
The fruit (1.25-1.55 mm x 0.8-0.95 mm x 0.8-0.95 mm) is a one-seeded, indehiscent caryopsis, with a pericarp protecting the seed. The fruit is brown/red in colour and globe-shaped, with a minutely pitted surface. The seed configuration is anatropous and the embryo type is basal-lateral. The embryo is small in relation to the whole seed and is yellowish-white in colour.
The occurrence of empty seeds is common in wild-collected accessions of this species. Empty seeds may have a normal seed coat but an absent or under-developed embryo, or limited storage tissue.
See more images of this species at the Digital Seed Atlas of the Netherlands.
Accepted name: Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn.
Synonyms: Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. subsp. indica, Cynosurus indicus L.
Common name: goose grass
References and Links
- Baskin, C.C. and Baskin J.M. (1998). Seeds: ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination. Academic Press, USA.
- Black, M., Bewley, J.D. and Halmer, P. (2006). The Encyclopaedia of Seeds: science, technology and uses. CAB International, UK.
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
- AFPD (African Flowering Plants Database) - Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Switzerland, and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, RSA: Eleusine indica.
- PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Eleusine indica.
- SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Eleusine indica.
- Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Eleusine indica.