Germination response of diverse wild and landrace chile peppers (Capsicum spp.) under drought stress simulated with polyethylene glycol

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Vivian M BernauKristin Mercer

Abstract

Responses to drought within a single species may vary based on plant development stage, drought severity, and the avoidance or tolerance mechanisms employed. Early drought stress can restrict emergence and seedling growth. Thus, in areas where water availability is limited, rapid germination leading to early plant establishment may be beneficial. Alternatively, germination without sufficient water to support the seedling may lead to early senescence, so reduced germination under low moisture conditions may be adaptive at the level of the population. We studied the germination response to osmotic stress of diverse chile pepper germplasm collected in southern Mexico from varied ecozones, cultivation systems, and of named landraces. Drought stress was simulated using polyethylene glycol solutions. Overall, survival time analysis revealed delayed germination at the 20% concentration of PEG across all ecozones. The effect was most pronounced in the genotypes from hotter, drier ecozones. Additionally, accessions from wetter and cooler ecozones had the fastest rate of germination. Moreover, accessions of the landraces Costeno Rojo and Tusta germinated more slowly and incompletely if sourced from a drier ecozone than a wetter one, indi...Continue Reading

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