Experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of shading on and location of the mother plant on germination and hormone content of Palmer amaranth seed. Increasing the shading from 0 to 87% decreased germination of fresh, viable seeds in dark from 25 to 12%. Abscisic acid (ABA) content of seeds from plants in 0% shade increased from 13.3 ng g−1 dry seed to 19.1 ng g−1 dry seed with 87% shade. Shading of the mother plant did not influence the 1,000-seed weight of Palmer amaranth. Seeds that matured in the top and middle third of the mother plant had 67 to 78% greater germination than those that matured in the bottom third of the mother plant. Endogenous gibberellic acid (GA) content of seeds did not differ between locations on the mother plant; however, the ABA content of seeds produced on the bottom third of the plant was 46 and 59% higher than the ABA content of seeds produced at the middle and top third of the plant, respectively. Endogenous ABA or GA content of seeds and 1,000-seed weight had no relationship with seed germination over and above the treatment effects. This research suggests that shading and plant location can influence germination of fresh, viable seeds of Palmer amaranth, which will be a dormancy strategy for seed dispersal over time.
Nomenclature: Palmer amaranth, Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats. AMAPA.