Germination and fungal infection of wild celery (Apium graveolens L.) seeds, from southern Brazil, under different temperature and disinfection conditions
ABSTRACT Seeds of wild celery (Apium graveolens L.) from southern Brazil were surface disinfected with different solutions of sodium hypochlorite (5 and 10%) and acetic acid (0.5, 1, 2, 4%), and germination success and fungal infection were evaluated after 28 days of incubation at a constant temperature of 30 ºC and 20/30 ºC thermoperiod (12h:12h). Germination of wild celery was inhibited at the constant temperature (30 ºC). Vigorous total germination (90-100%), a faster germination velocity (1.8-2.5 germinated seeds per day) and moderate fungal infection (53.3-81.7%) of wild celery seeds were obtained with the sodium hypochlorite treatments (5-10% concentration) under the 20/30 ºC thermoperiod. The 4% treatment of acetic acid was very effective at preventing seed fungal infection (only 5% of the seeds) but it reduced the average total germination to 60%. Lower concentrations of acetic acid (0.5-2%) resulted in 100% fungal infection. In conclusion, seedlings of wild celery from southern Brazil can be effectively produced by disinfecting the seeds with 5 -10% sodium hypochlorite and incubation under a 20/30 ºC thermoperiod (12h:12h).