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Species Bananas Discussions of all the different wild species of banana (non edible), an aspect of the hobby that deserves its own section.


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Old 08-20-2008, 12:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

Has anyone bought Dr Deno's book? Before I order it, I would like to see an opinion of it from someone who has read it.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:39 AM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

maybe musa seeds need a specific species of fungus to enhance germination,
fungi that are local to the musa's native habitat.
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:58 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
I have no experience scarifying Musa seeds. I've just read about it in a couple of scientific articles, and they reported some success with it. I imagine the more seed coat you can remove, the better. Again...I have never tried it. Interestingly, I've always seen the advice given about scarification of Musa seeds as something to the effect of "Don't do it!" It seems to be almost a universally (ok, maybe just an internet-banana-forum-wide) accepted given that you just don't do it. Given the generally poor success rates without scarification, I can't see as how it would hurt any!! I have many thousands of banana seeds to experiment with here, several hormones to experiment with, the benefit of a university's resources, and am going to try all kinds of cool stuff.

Yes to your second question, Allen. I thought that the results of this study were fairly significant, as it goes against the popular convention of using a sterile mix to start seeds in. Even more interesting and eye-opening: In the study, the seeds that had zero percent germination with the three sterile mixes used were, after many months, placed in a non-sterile medium, and well over 20 percent germination was the result!

The idea that microbes are necessary to help penetrate the thick outer seed coat is very logical when you think about it. Musa seeds are known to stay viable for at least two years in moist conditions, possibly more. Perhaps they just sit there in the wet soil and wait until the seed coat is thin enough for the embryo to penetrate it. I do know that I still have some Musa ingens seeds that I had about given up on, but now will be excavating them from their flats and trying something new.


As to your third question...don't see why you would want to do that if your seeds had already germinated, but it shouldn't hurt the seedlings as long as the mix is pretty light and you keep an eye out for fungus attacks (damping off). Keep a spray bottle with some fungicide or Hydrogen Peroxide handy.

Something else to consider: heating the seeds in very hot water (like on the stove) for a few minutes. For Mimosa pudica, it is recommended to heat them at 140F for 20 minutes prior to sowing. Don't know if it would work for Musa, but has anybody tried it?

GA3 is useless on Musa seed, by the way. In order for it to work, it needs to be able to penetrate the seed coat to get to the embryo. It can't without some help. I don't know if it would help with a weakened seed coat though.

Gabe I've noticed that behavior with Musa seeds, and with Ensete as well. I had some Ensete glaucum and E. ventricosum seeds sitting around for over a year before deciding to try and germinate them late last summer. Most popped right around the same time, but a few weeks later, 4 or 5 more came up at once. There is a thought that the charazal is actually somehow keeping the embryo from germinating. There has to be some chemical inhibitor at work...or could it just be physical?

Erlend, I know of at least two people, one in zone 8a, who have stated that Musa velutina pops up like a weed everywhere in their garden. We have it in the greenhouses, and I've seen it coming up in cracks in the greenhouse floor! Eric at Leu Gardens said it is a weed there, and Musa itinerans is making a case for weed status.

Well, I have some exciting ideas to experiment with! Now, if it weren't for all of that bothersome schoolwork, I might be able to get some REAL work done!!
Although scarifying seeds and potting them in non-sterile media results in a low germination rate due to fungal infestation. In some cases the resultant rate was zero.

Also, Damaclese posted that he had some experience with leaving ventricosum seeds in a glass bottle with water for 3 days in the Vegas sun. They germinated in about 10 days and I have one of the seedlings. Just an accidental thing, but noteworthy and seems to follow your theory of heating the seeds before putting in soil.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:10 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

I have a very good luck germinating Ventricosum
I always use a peat Plugs they're not sterile. Also on my last batch of the seats in a jar and accidentally left them in the sun for four days the water was extremely hot approximately 140°! But plant them anyway. The first seeds germinate in less than seven days. nine seeds germinated total so far. 11 them are still sitting there planted approximately four months ago. And then planted some Ensete Superbum. That was approximately July 15. Same conditions so far none have Germinated again all Soils were contaminated with naturally occurring bacteria. I just wanna say that for most of my life I have never used sterile soil mixes. i grew up in a farming community with thousands of gardeners and in the old days no one had sterile potting soil. You just took some soil from the garden edit some sand or if you were lucky some vermiculite because that's all you had so I don't know if this is relevant but these farmers seem to be pretty successful at growing food without seed mats germination stations sterile soil warming pads grow hormones and all this other stuff that everyone is using. i Think The rotten fruit and Planting in the garden if If you live in the right zone are Probably going to get the best Results didn't You post A seed Germination study gab that Suggested that nicking was a vary good way to go?
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:25 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

I still haven't had much luck with nonsterile soil, so I only use sterile media now. The scarification studies involved potting up in sterile soil, and the other one was sowing unscarified seeds in nonsterile soil. I'm sure that scarifying seeds and placing them in nonsterile soil would be pointless.

Farmers are working with thousands of corn seeds, or whatever other types of seeds, and more often than not are sowing them directly into the soil. Most of those seeds have 90%+ germination rates. Musa seeds, depending on the species, have a much lower germination success rate. So, using sterile soil gives you the best chance at keeping your few sprouts alive, and reduce the chances of damping off or other diseases (or bugs, bacteria, etc.) that attack seedlings.
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Old 08-31-2008, 03:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

I'm thinking giving the scarification method a try again if the stubborn ones don't pop up soon.
One thing about doing it though, is that bacteria can sweep in through the air, so a tight fitting lid or baggy would be important, and not opening it up until they germinate might help.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:49 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

So what about cold-stratification? Musella seems to need it, along with some other species?

In stead of nicking the seedskin, I've heared of weakening the outer skin with a little polyethylene glycol (a polymere), has anyone tried that?
I tried and stuff germinated, but I had no testgroup besides it,...so I can't tell you if it improves anything.

I have tried the scarification on Canna seeds (after all it's a banana relative right?) and it works very well,....nearly all seeds germinate after a few days!

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Old 09-01-2008, 05:54 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by griphuz View Post
So what about cold-stratification? Musella seems to need it, along with some other species?

In stead of nicking the seedskin, I've heared of weakening the outer skin with a little polyethylene glycol (a polymere), has anyone tried that?
I tried and stuff germinated, but I had no testgroup besides it,...so I can't tell you if it improves anything.

I have tried the scarification on Canna seeds (after all it's a banana relative right?) and it works very well,....nearly all seeds germinate after a few days!

Regards,
Remko.

I am intersted in this method how do you use the polyethylene glycol to weaken the outer skin do you soak it in the stuff and if so is it pure or do you dilute it down, what is the method to use it please, looking for bette way to germinate my
seeds. Thank you Mark
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:24 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

I dillute it and soak the seeds in this solution for 24-48 hours.
As I said, no idea if it improves anything, because I didn't have a blanco testgroup.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:52 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

wow thanks Bigdog All realy good points. i love how every one gets realy charged up over This topic. its just a Mistry to me. all try any thing but i have this thing About not Geting caread away so if they geminate then They do if not then they Don't but keep trying im reading on Pins and Needals LOL
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:37 PM   #31 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

I am a total novice to germinating Musa seeds and even more of a Newbie with Ensete seeds but I have had several successes using the Smoke Seed Primer and bottom heat.

I soaked all of my seeds in Smoke seed primer water for 48 hrs then planted them in regular seed starting media.

I planted 16 different kinds of seeds on January 12th, I left them covered with a dome until Jan 20th, I am impatient so I moved them to a cooler part of the house and put them on bottom heat with the dome still on them. I got 3 Ensete glaucum & 1 Musa siamensis on the 23rd. I have steadily gotten sprouts almost every day since then. I now have, (please pardon my spelling of seeds, I do not have them in front of me,) 6 Ensete glaucum, 1 Musa ?? Roxb pink from Thailand, 1 Musa siamensis, & one more that I can't think of right now.

My questions are,
Are these about normal results?
When is it ok to transplant to individual pots?
The Ensetes are about 2.5" tall now. They need moved because tomorrow or the next day they will be touching the top of the dome.

I planted 6 kinds of seed last year and moved them too soon and lost many of them, I don't wish to lose them again this year. I moved them last year as soon as they sprouted.

Thanks for any help you can give this newbie.

Peggy
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:56 PM   #32 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

I think we are not heeding Norm Deno's advice here. He says "The problem all plants have, that most botanists have overlooked, is keeping the seeds from germinating."
So, what happens in the bananas natural habitat? The plant fruits, the fruits get eaten, perhaps pass through the intestinal tract of some animal and get deposited in a pile of dung somewhere. At that point, what will keep the seed from germinating prematurely, i.e. what method would be most useful for the plant to prevent germination unless favorable conditions are present? I would assume these favorable conditions are humidity, the right season, and, most of all, bright light. While humidity has an obvious solution, seasons play less of a role in the habitats of Musa, at least from the temperature point of view. However, most Musa will not stand much of a chance on a dimly lit forest floor and a bright spot, perhaps in a recent landslide, on a cliff or along a stream, would be imperative for successful establishment. So how does a seed that is not light sensitive recognize when it is in a bright enough spot that would make it worth while appearing out of its shell?
Anyone following?

Best, TOBY
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:47 PM   #33 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

It may not, and is probably not the photoperiod, but the acid bath of digestion with the added warmth and moisture of the GI track. The boost of the GI track with the heat and light of a jungle clearing makes things perfect for the germinating seed.

What's missing?
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:55 PM   #34 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

Interesting.

The seeds seem too large to survive chewing, so I don't think passage through the gut of an animal is the normal trigger for germination.

According to Wikipedia,
Quote:
"Musa acuminata is a pioneer species. They rapidly exploit newly disturbed areas, like areas recently subjected to forest fires."
Musa acuminata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That fits well with large seeds. A large seed gives a head start when cashing in on the sudden bonanza of a burned-over area.

Ash is alkaline. Perhaps an increase in pH would help.

Ash is full of potassium. Perhaps an influx of potassium helps. Has anyone had good results with potting media that have lots of potassium, compared to those that don't?

The forest floor is relatively constant in temperature day and night; bare ground is warmed in the day and cools at night. But temperature cycling has been tried by countless breeders and hobbyists, hasn't it?

Forest floor under an intact canopy is relatively constant in humidity. After a fire (or anything else that gets rid of a section of canopy, such as the fall of a large tree), the surface presumably dries out somewhat, at least during the day. Perhaps a partial drying after soaking would help.

A surface that's constant in temperature over time is also constant in temperature with depth, whereas a surface that's heated by sunlight can be much hotter at the surface than even a centimeter below. A seed that can respond to being heated unevenly would seem advantageous. Has anyone compared germination times from radiant top heat versus bottom heat?

A plant that has evolved to "rapidly exploit newly disturbed areas" has to germinate quickly once it gets the signal. Expecting germination to take months seems like barking up the wrong tree. (Or should that be "wrong pseudostem"?) We're just waiting for the seeds to malfunction, or for the right signal to show up out of whatever random noise they pick up. Maybe the people who keep getting impatient and poking at their seeds are on to something.

Last edited by dsws : 12-07-2012 at 12:54 AM. Reason: more idle speculation
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:40 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

It is well known for species like Musa sikkimensis (and itinerans) to germinate better when daytemperatures are high and night temperatures are cooler,....so that makes sence

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Old 12-07-2012, 12:46 PM   #36 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

Maybe it's not always a matter of finding the proper signal for germination. Maybe sometimes it's a matter of enabling marginally-viable seed to germinate.

That seems as though it could be harder. You would need to understand not only the signal but the recognition and growth processes, so as to support the step that fails. Or it could be easier: maybe one aspect fails most readily, across a wide range of conditions, so that you don't need to know anything else, just what it takes to support the weak link.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:10 PM   #37 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

Arrrr...got to love these old discussions. I was just thinking there were too many questions on Dwarf Cavendish and not enough on germinating banana seeds.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:03 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
Arrrr...got to love these old discussions. I was just thinking there were too many questions on Dwarf Cavendish and not enough on germinating banana seeds.
Let me find out your hatin' on DC's now.. (me too).. lol They should have a thread.. What's the matter with your nanner? (DC & Orinoco Excluded) :^)
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:23 PM   #39 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Insights on seed germination.

Quote:
The largest proportion of fruits (81%) was removed by frugivorous seed dispersers, especially by bats at nighttime.
Spatial and temporal effects on seed dispersal a... [Integr Zool. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI

Do bats eat and pass the seeds? Eat and regurgitate? Or eat only the pulp?

I would certainly expect that bats sometimes do all three, depending on the bat and the fruit, and it sounds as though that's correct:

Quote:
Eight hundred and fifty-four (854) fecal samples and 169 samples from fruit parts and seeds discarded by bats beneath feeding roosts were analyzed.
...
Also, piles of pulp and seed parts regurgitated during bat feeding (Handley et al. 1991) were found at resting or sleeping perches in hollow trees, underneath foliage and in leaf-tents used by bats of tribe Stenodermatini y (Timm 1987).
Revista de BiologĂ*a Tropical - Food niche overlap among neotropical frugivorous bats in Costa Rica

(That article is about new-world bats and numerous different fruits, not including any bananas.)

Then there's this:

Quote:
During their feeding, these frugivores swallow small seeds and so disperse them in their feces great distances from the mother tree. When fruits are too large to be eaten rapidly, frugivores typically carry them off to distant trees where they can feed safely, thus dispersing even large seeds tens to hundreds of feet away.
...
I focused on the cape fig, a tree species that commonly grew along the edge of the gallery forest and was one of the first "forest" trees to invade the savanna zones as soon as fires were reduced.
...
When feeding, the bats stuffed their mouths to bulging, then slowly and methodically chewed the mass, swallowing only the easily digested juices and many seeds. When finished, they spat out a compressed mass of fiber, including some seeds, which I called a rejecta pellet. During their frequent flights, they left the walls peppered with seed-filled fecal splotches, resembling those I found on the plastic collecting sheets in the savanna.

From these observations I could identify three categories of seeds: those that remained untouched in the fruit, those that had been masticated but spat out in the rejecta pellet, and those that had passed through the gut and showed up in the feces. To test the effect of the bats' treatment of the seeds, I collected hundreds of seeds from ripe fruits, rejecta pellets, and feces and placed them on moist blotting paper to germinate. Fecal seeds were the first to germinate. After only six days, more than 50% had sprouted, and it took only a few more days before all the seeds had germinated. Seeds from rejecta pellets took a little longer (14 days for 50% germination) and only 75% germinated. In contrast, no more than 10% of seeds I extracted from ripe fruits ever germinated--even after 89 days.
On Fruits, Seeds, and Bats

It seems obvious that if there are a few huge seeds the seeds would be discarded, whereas a fruit with many small seeds would be eaten seeds and all. And if the pulp separates easily from the seeds, that should mean that the seeds are discarded, whereas seeds tightly attached to the pulp would be passed. Banana seeds seem big to me, and it looks in pictures as though the pulp would come off fairly easily. So I'm still guessing that they don't go through the bats' (or other animals') digestive tracts.
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