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Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0716-9760

Abstract

TOMAZ, CAMILA A; KESTRING, DÉBORA  and  ROSSI, MARCELO N. Biol. Res. [online]. 2007, vol.40, n.3, pp.281-290. ISSN 0716-9760.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-97602007000400002.

Seeds of Mimosa bimucronata are heavily infested (pre-dispersal predation) by the bruchid beetle Acanthoscelides schrankiae in Brazil. In this study, firstly we set up experiments to assess seed germination under seven and six different light and temperature regimes, respectively, and then we evaluated the ability of seeds to germinate after predation. We tested the hypothesis that the non-predated seeds from infested fruits may respond differently when set for germination than those seeds of non-infested fruits. We also hypothesized that predation may increase the production of unviable seeds. Seeds under 18 hours of light presented the highest percentage of germination, and the alternating temperature 20-30 °C was considered as optimum for germination (abnormal seedlings were not considered as a successful germination). Germination of seeds from non-infested fruits was significantly higher than germination of non-predated seeds from infested fruits, and predation also caused a significant increase in the proportion of dead seeds. Our results also show a positive correlation between proportions of unviable seeds and predated seeds. These results demonstrated that seeds of M. bimucronata are strongly affected by predation because predated seeds did not germinate and non-predated seeds had their viability reduced when located in infested fruits, supporting our hypothesis

Keywords : Acanthoscelides schrankiae; Bruchidae; germination; Mimosa bimucronata; seed predation.

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