Jelila S. Blalogoe 12, Alfred O. Odindo3, E. O. Dêêdi Sogbohossou1,4, Julia Sibiya2 and Enoch G. Achigan-Dako1*Origin-dependence of variation in seed morphology, mineral composition and germination percentage in Gynandropsis gynandra (L.) Briq. accessions from Africa and Asia https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-020-02364-w.
Background: Spider plant [Gynandropsis gynandra (L.) Briq.], an economically promising African leafy vegetable, characterized for leaf yield components and nutritive quality, exhibits poor seed germination that hinders a wider expansion of the crop in urban and periurban horticultural systems. So far, there is little information pertaining to seed morphological traits and mineral elements content that may be associated with higher seed germination. This research investigated the hypothesis that spider plants from different geographical areas exhibited differences in seed mineral composition, morphological traits, and germination capacity. To this end, twenty-nine accessions of Gynandropsis gynandra from West and East-Southern Africa, and Asia were screened for variation in seed size (area,perimeter, length, width), 10-seed weight, mean germination time, germination percentage and mineral content variations. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM), light microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) solution were used to study seed morphology and mineral composition.
Results: We show for the first time the external and internal structure of the seeds of Gynandropsis gynandra and
measured eight mineral elements, including carbon (C), oxygen (O), magnesium (Mg), aluminium (Al), phosphorus
(P), sulphur (S), potassium (K) and calcium (Ca). The accessions differed significantly (p < 0.001) with respect to seed size (area, perimeter, length, width), 10-seed weight, mean germination time and germination percentage. The hierarchical cluster analysis based on fourteen variables grouped the accessions into three distinct clusters, partially dependent on their geographical origin. Asian accessions exhibited smaller seeds and recorded higher values in terms of germination percentage. West African accessions had bigger seeds but with lower germination percentage. Variation in minerals such as potassium, carbon, and calcium content showed different patterns according to geographical origins.
Conclusion: Smaller seeds in G. gynandra exhibited better germination capacity. The Asian germplasm is a
potential source of cultivars with a higher germination percentage for improving seed quality in the species.
Keywords: Characterization, Cleome gynandra, Germination, Mineral element contents, Seed morphology, Seed
viability, Scanning Electron microscope