Background and aims: The aim of this paper was to verify the variation in the loss of seed dormancy during after-ripening and the interspecific and interpopulation variability in the degree of dormancy of seven wild and two cultivated rice species comprising 21 populations and two cultivars.
Methods: Four wild rice species from South America, Oryza glumaepatula, O. latifolia, O. grandiglumis and O. alta, and two O. sativa cultivars were tested in one experiment. In a second experiment, five wild species, O. punctata, O. eichingeri, O.rufipogon, O. latifolia and O. glumaepatula, and one cultivated species (O. glaberrima) were evaluated. Initial germination tests were performed soon after the seeds were harvested and subsequently at 2-month intervals, for a total of six storage periods in the first experiment and three in the second. All tests were conducted in the dark at a temperature of 27 degrees C.
Key results: Different patterns of after-ripening among populations within and between species were observed.
Conclusions: The cultivated species (O. sativa and O. glaberrima) and, amongst the wild species, the tetraploids O. latifolia, O. grandiglumis and the diploids O. eichingeri and O. punctata, had weak dormancy, losing it completely 2 months after harvest, while O. rufipogon and O. glumaepatula exhibited pronounced dormancy. The latter showed different patterns of after-ripening between populations indigenous to the Amazon region and those originating in the Paraguay River system. Seeds of Solimoes (Amazon) and Japura origin showed weak dormancy whereas those of Paraguay origin showed deep dormancy. Ecological differences among natural habitats may be involved in such differentiation.