Time requirement from pollination to seed maturity in waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus)

Michael S. Bell, Patrick J Tranel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experiments were conducted to determine the amount of time required for waterhemp to produce mature seeds after pollination. Female waterhemp plants were pollinated over a 24-h time period and then isolated from males. Two branches, each containing at least 500 flowers, were harvested from each female at the time of the initial pollination, designated as 0 d after pollination (DAP), as well as at multiple other times after pollination up to 62 DAP. One branch from each harvest was stored at 30 C for 48 h, while the other branch was stored at -20 C for 48 h. Branches were then stored at room temperature until all harvests were complete, at which time seeds from each branch at each time after pollination were collected, weighed, and stratified. Germination tests were then conducted to determine the time at which seeds become viable after pollination. Seeds that had not germinated by the end of the germination tests were subjected to tetrazolium testing for viability. Germination tests were also conducted on nonstratified seeds to investigate changes in seed dormancy that were expected to occur over the amount of time the seeds were allowed to remain on the plants. Seeds stored initially at 30 C postharvest became viable 7 to 9 DAP, whereas seeds stored initially at -20 C postharvest did not become mature until 11 DAP. Seed coat color was white soon after pollination and became dark brown to nearly black by 12 DAP, and seed weight increased until 12 DAP. Tetrazolium tests for seed viability correlated well with the germination tests. Germination tests on nonstratified seeds indicated that dormancy level was initially high in the population used, but began to decrease between 15 and 30 DAP. Results of this study have implications both for waterhemp management and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalWeed Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Dormancy
  • Germination
  • Pollination
  • Seed set
  • Seed weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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