Testing the effects on seed germination using Aspergillus inoculate
(Syagrus cearensis)


Although by far, this is not a scientific experiment, it is however designed to show some of my fellow palm and tropical gardening enthusiast & friends, the results I obtained using Aspergillus in the seed germination process.
As many of us already know, germinating certain seed, especially those in the Palmae family, can take many months and even years in some cases for the radicle and first plumule to form.
In this test, I'm attempting to analyze and document the progress, as to the length of time it takes, plus the quantity of seed in each case that do germinate of the species, Syagrus cearensis, using seed treated with Aspergillus and a Control set with out the seed being treated. And finely by checking the root system for any unusual growth, by comparing both the treated and untreated plants.
Bottom line: To determine if Aspergillus aids and enhances seed germination and plant development.

The Set up

I used a plastic covered tray 6 1/2 inches by 5 inches and filled with sterilized seed starting mix. 2 Syagrus cearensis seeds were put into a baggy with a teaspoon of Aspergillus inoculate and agitated until all seed were completely covered with substance, these were than planted in a sterile seed starting soil. 2 Syagrus cearensis seed were used as a control. Trays were watered and placed in a warm but dark area. No bottom heat was used and I only watered once, about 20 days into the experiment. Trays are inspected at least once a week.
Note: All four (4) seed used in this experiment were collected at the Montgomery Botanical Center in Miami Florida, September 2000. No fertilizer or plant stimulants were used whatsoever including EcoSane, HB-101, B1 or any other plant hormones.

In the Past

We have all tried the baggy method or in the pot, (they either grow or else they rot) method, with some and some not-so successful results. Bottom heat is usually recommended and it certainly wouldn't hurt in speeding up seed germination. But usually we fall short of our expectations, our special palm seed, that we dreamed someday towering over head, for all the world to see, doesn't happen like we planed. Sometimes we forget to water and as time goes by we seem to forget about what we did back 6 months ago and when we do remember we find a disappointing dried pot or dry moldy seed left in our long forgotten baggy. We must try and check each and everyday our seed, in order to accomplish our mission.


Aspergillus being applied to Attlea liebmannii and
Syagrus cearensis
seed November 19, 2000

Trays were inspected on January 20th and noted; A radicle and long roots were observed through the clear plastic tray on the treated seed, also noted were the absence of any root or activity in the control set. It has now been two months from time of sowing.

Syagrus cearensis; On the left are the two treated seed that were removed from the tray and transplanted into larger containers. To the right are the two untreated seed (controls) that were returned to the germination tray.

Syagrus cearensis: Close up of germinated seed that were treated with Aspergillus. Image taken January 26, 2001



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