Germination of African mustard seeds collected from southern Australia was not influenced by light conditions at the optimum temperature of 20/12 C. However, seed germination was inhibited by light at the lower temperature (15/9 C). Presence of light increased the sensitivity of seeds to low temperature, as well as salt and osmotic stress. In dark conditions, seed germination was relatively unaffected at a low level of salinity (80 mM NaCl) but decreased even at 10 mM NaCl in light/dark conditions. In the dark, seed germination was unaffected up to an osmotic potential of −0.6 MPa but declined thereafter. Seeds of African mustard germinated over a broad range of pH from 4 to 10. Seed germination was stimulated by potassium nitrate (from 0.005 to 0.04 M) and gibberellic acid (0.001 M). Seedling emergence of African mustard was the greatest (51%) for seeds buried at 1 cm but no seedlings emerged from seeds placed at a depth of 5 cm. At the end of the growing season, seed decay (77 to 87%) and dormant (12 to 18%) components were similar among different seed burial depths. Information gained in this study will be important in developing a better understanding of the requirements for African mustard germination and emergence.
Nomenclature: African mustard, Brassica tournefortii Gouan BRATO.