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Banana Seed Germination Forum As one of the toughest seeds in the plant kingdom to figure out the keys to germination success with, this is a forum with banana seed germination tips. Please entitle posts like "Musa balbisiana," or "Musa cheesmani," etc. People would then post a reply under that heading, sharing their germination successes (and failures), what materials and methods they used, germination percentage, etc.


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Old 02-13-2007, 04:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Musa Velutina Experiment

I received 60 M. velutina seeds today and began an experiment. Because of the number of seeds, I opted to have only 2 variables; 1)scarification and 2)unsterile germinating media. I ended up with 26 seeds in each batch as 8 seeds shattered during scarification. The sterile medium will be moist perlite and the unsterile medium will be banana pulp.

Both groups will experience the following;

- 54 C (130 F) hot water bath
- soaking for 72 hours with no water change...NB changed to 86 hours
- Sealed in translucent container
- surrounded heat of 34 C (93 F)
- diffused low light
- checked weekly for changes starting Feb. 19/07


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Old 02-13-2007, 06:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

I was reading another study on scarification yesterday, and probably gave you bad advice. It seems that scarification works great if you are using aseptic media (agar), and have surface-sterilized your seeds. Scarified seeds placed directly in soil had zero percent germination.
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

This experiment will either confirm the study or confuse the subject further.

The hot water has served to 'sterilize' most palm seeds I have worked with in the past. I have never had a problem with mold or fungus during germination.

Thanks for your input.

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Old 02-17-2007, 08:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

The experiment has suffered from the banana nut's most frequent problem;

Spouseus interruptus

As a result the soak period was extended to 86 hours.

The seeds are in the germination medium and under heat.

Observations:
1) No indication of mold, fungus etc.
2)Scarified seed appeared to have swollen and are about 20% larger than unscarified seed.

Next observation has been changed to Feb 26/07.

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Old 02-19-2007, 03:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

Scarification of Ensete ventricosum seemed to work for me, but I don't think it is nessisary.
When any Musa or Ensete species sprouts the "root" comes out of the little round "belly button" that each seed has. The seed is probally thinner in that spot.
I'd like to hear how well the ones that "swelled up" sprout.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

I have scarified the seed to expose the inside to moisture. I hope that it will take on moisture so that the seed will germinate faster. It worked for palms. Now I will see if it will work for this banana.

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Old 02-27-2007, 11:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

No change in the seed to date. The banana pulp has gotten quite liquid. there is no sign of fungus or mold.

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Old 02-27-2007, 04:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

Do you have to maintain the (130 F) hot water bath temp for the full 86 hours?
Thanks,
Gena
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

I added the seed to the hot water and allowed it to cool to room temperature and soak. The seed that was scarified had been scarified before adding to the hot water.

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Old 02-28-2007, 09:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

Allen,
Just wanted you to know that I am following your post to keep an eye on my "babies". Good luck and keep us posted...
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropicallvr View Post
Scarification of Ensete ventricosum seemed to work for me, but I don't think it is nessisary.
When any Musa or Ensete species sprouts the "root" comes out of the little round "belly button" that each seed has. The seed is probally thinner in that spot.
I'd like to hear how well the ones that "swelled up" sprout.
That "belly button" you are talking about is called the micropyle, and I would highly discourage anyone from attempting to scarify the seed on or near that point. This is because directly underneath that about 1-2mm (or less, depending on species) is the embryo, and if you are to damage the embryo the seed will never germinate.

Also, as Frank mentioned, it makes sense that scarifying the seed would only help if in agar, which is the exact same thing as embryo rescue germination. If you are only soaking the seeds in water, the water easily penetrates the seed coat over night without the need of any holes. The only reason it works better in vitro (in a growth medium/agar) is because the growth medium is too thick to penetrate the seed coat and reach the embryo. I actually developed a different method of embryo rescue germination where you remove the micropyle and micropylar plug and expose the embryo to the germination medium without removing the embryo from the seed. This helps reduce damage to the embryo as well as serving to keep the endosperm of the seed available to the embryo for nurishment.

Below are some seed pictures of Musa velutina as well as a diagram of a general Musaceae seed (there are differences between species but they all have similar structure).





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Old 03-01-2007, 01:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

Thank you for the information. When I scarified the seed, I exposed both the endosperm and micropyle by cutting a 30 degree notch in the right hand side of the seed as outlined in the diagram.

I can understand the need for the embryo to penetrate the micropyle and the micropylar plug with it's root in order to germinate.

Despite the assertion that water can penetrate the seed coating without it being scarified, I noted that the scarified seed was about 20% larger than the unscarified seed after both had been soaked in water for 86 hours.

I suggest that the absorption of more water by the scarified seed would have caused increases in the size of the micropyle and endosperm which would have stressed the micropylar plug perhaps causing fracture(s).

At the next observation I will consider the removal and perhaps dissection of 1 of each of the seed categories.

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Old 03-01-2007, 10:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

Gabe, those are great pics, and a nice diagram. Your middle picture shows the embryo very nicely. I wonder if you could highlight it?

I have some difficulty understanding something about imbibing Musa seeds. I have McGahan's 1961 Anatomy of the Seed and Embryo of Musa Balbisiana in front of me here, and was reading part of it where it talks about the inner integument (not pictured in your diagram). He states that "when the (micropylar) plug is removed by hand, the inner integument frequently remains in place and appears as a small, beaked cap..." He also says, right before that, that the portion of the inner integument that surrounds the micropyle is forced out with the plug at germination. What this leads me to believe is that if you do not remove the micropylar plug, that the inner integument (which surrounds the endosperm and comes into full contact with the embryo) will remain intact, and prevent water from penetrating to the endosperm. In the scarification study that I referenced, a lateral portion of the seed coat was removed, exposing the endosperm, and placed with the exposed side directly on the agar. Removing the micropylar plug doesn't aid in germination at all, and as Gabe says, you could injure the embryo and kill the seed.
I have seen references to unpublished findings that chipping the seed coat did aid in germination (Don't have that in front of me though...I'd have to dig for it). There were no details provided, just a simple reference with the date 1960. Just a few years before, Simmonds had reported no success with scarification.

Anyway, I look forward to your results, Allen!
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

From my own experiments, I have found that a dry seed will be completely saturated by soaking in water with no scarification. I used to do this before embryo rescue to make it easier to cut the seed in half. The seeds would crumble and fly all over the place when dry, but after a few nights soaking (with no scarification), they were always completely moist all the way through. Im not saying that scaring the seed has no effect, but I would tend to think it does not aid in helping water enter the seed as it seems to be able to penetrate the seed coat just fine without any help.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

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Old 03-05-2007, 02:34 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

I observed no change in the seeds.

The banana pulp had begun to ferment. I aired it out before resealing it.

I will be waiting another week before doing anything.

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Old 03-13-2007, 01:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

No changes were observed in either batch of seed.

The banana pulp is extremely fermented and has proven to be unsuited as a nonsterile medium under these specific circumstances. It will be replaced by a mixture of 'used ' potting soil, non sterile sand and perlite. This is all that I have available as the majority of the ground is snow covered or frozen mud.

The sterile medium is beginning to show signs of mold/fungus. It will be rebathed in 130-140 F water and rinsed.

I will remove one seed from each batch of seed for inspection/disection.

The results will be posted later this week.

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Old 03-13-2007, 11:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

Allen, thanks for keeping us informed. Im looking forward to your next report.

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Old 03-14-2007, 12:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

The unsterile banana pulp medium has been replaced with unsterile potting soil/sand/perlite in a ratio of 1/1/1.

The sterile medium has been replaced with another quantity of moist perlite.

Both sets of seed were bathed twice in 130-140 F water.

The unscarified seed has swollen to the same size as the scarified seed.

The micropylar plug appears softer in 3 of the unscarified seed, with one plug beginning to disintegrate.

On disection the mass and texture of the seed was the same for both sets of seed, softer and less brittle than the seeds that were scarified at the beginning of the experiment.

The interior of the seed is substantially the same as in Gabe 15's picture posted Mar 1/07 with the exception of the micropylar plug which is significantly smaller.

The next observation will be March 19/07.

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Old 03-14-2007, 08:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Velutina Experiment

The M. velutina seeds were donated by Randy.

Seeds from the same plant have begun to sprout for others after 3 months without any special attention. This should make a nice comparable for my experiment.

Thank you Randy.

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