Application of hypergravity in Eucalyptus and Corymbia seeds

ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the growth responses of various Eucalyptus and Corymbia species subjected to different intensities of simulated hypergravity relative to the control. A centrifuge was used to simulate hypergravity. It was developed and built at the Centro de Microgravidade of the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Seeds of five Eucalyptus and one Corymbia species (E. grandis, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus benthamii, Eucalyptus saligna, Eucalyptus dunnii, and C. maculata) were placed on moist germination paper in plastic containers and rotated at speeds simulating 5 Gz and 7 Gz for different lengths of time. Hypergravity technology significantly increased seedling production (diameter, height, and survival at 120 days) in nurseries. In E. globulus, the effects of hypergravity were significant at 7 Gz at all lengths of time (from 1 d to 9 days). Effects of hypergravity were significant in both E. benthamii and E. grandis at 7 Gz and 8 h exposure. Therefore, simulated hypergravity could be used in performance tests of Eucalyptus seedlings in early stages of development.