Revista fitotecnia mexicana
Print version ISSN 0187-7380
VAZQUEZ DIAZ, Erasmo et al. Seed size, emergence and seedling development of maguey (Agave salmiana Otto ex Salm-Dyck). Rev. fitotec. mex [online]. 2011, vol.34, n.3, pp. 167-173. ISSN 0187-7380.
Wild and cultivated Agave spp. plants have asexual reproduction by young rhizomes and it seems the most common and successful way of reproduction of this specie. However, the sexual reproduction is important because it increases the genetic variability. The aim of this research was to characterize three seed accessions of maguey Agave salmiana 'Blanco', 'Chino' and 'Liso' growing wild in San Luis Potosí, México, regarding the following characteristics: seed dimensions (length, wide and weight), potential of emergence and initial seedling growth. Seedling emergence was evaluated over three seasons, Summer and Winter 2008 and Summer 2009. It was assessed the emergence progress of the cotyledonary leaf, as well as the time and weight when the lateral leaves become apparent. 'Blanco' seeds were smallest in length (7.1 mm), wide (5.4 mm) and weight (10.7 mg), while the ' Chino' variant had the longest and wide (8.4 mm and 6.5 mm, respectively) seeds, and 'Liso' had the heaviest seeds (14.5 mg) (P ≤ 0.05). The cotyledonary leaf emergence started 13 d after sowing (DAS), on the average. The highest seedling emergence was registered between the 21 and 51 DAS in the three agave accessions. The lateral leaves started to grow 33 DAS, 18 d after the emergence of the cotyledonary leaf. 'Blanco' had the smallest seeds and the highest initial emergence rate. After the cotyledonary leaf emergence, the growth of lateral leaves seems no to be related with seed traits.
Keywords : Agave salmiana; seed size; emergence; leaf development.