Kyrkas D., Mantzos N., Patakioutas G, Echevarria G., Filis E., Dimitrakopoulos P.G., Konstantinou M. (2023) The seed germination properties of two hyperaccumulator plant species with the potential for Ni agromining. Botanica Serbica, 47 (2): 227–233.
The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of different nickel concentrations and light in combination with storage conditions and storage time on the seed germination ability of two serpentine-endemic nickel hyperaccumulating species (Bornmuellera emarginata and B. tymphaea). The seeds of both species were collected from natural populations in the Pindus Mountain range, Greece in early July and stored in a refrigerator (4°C) and in laboratory conditions (22°C). The seeds were exposed to a range of nickel concentrations typical of non-ultramafic-ultramafic gradient in two light environments (12 h photoperiod and continuous darkness). The nickel concentration only had a significant effect on B. emarginata, decreasing its seed germination rate with increasing Ni concentrations. The storage temperature significantly affected the germination percentage of both species and it was higher at 4°C compared to 22°C. A higher germination rate (> 60%) was observed for 5-8-month-old seeds, but both species generally showed significantly higher germination rates in the tests conducted seven months after seed ripening in the field. A higher germination rate was observed in a 12-hour photoperiod than in continuous darkness only for B. tymphaea. This study provides guidelines on the germination capacity of two obligate nickel hyperaccumulators with a potential for use in agromining systems.