Ecological Observations and Germination of Sterculia chicha Seeds Colonized by Anastrepha bezzii

Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

1 Departamento de Fitotecnia, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, 36570-000, Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

2 Laboratório de Entomologia Econômica, Instituto Biológico, 13092-543, Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil

3 Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido, 59625-900, Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil

4 Departamento de Biologia Geral, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, 36570-000, Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

5 Departamento de Biologia Animal, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, 36570-000, Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

Abstract

Anastrepha bezzii (Diptera: Tephritidae) larvae are common inside fruits of Sterculia chicha (Malvaceae) in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. The seed dormancy and attack by A. bezzii of the native species S.
chicha can be detrimental to seed germination and thus the natural spread of this plant. The objectives of the current study were to compare ecological observations of A. bezzii and S. chicha in the field and laboratory, and to assess the germination of S. chicha colonized by A. bezzii. A total of five seeds that were either intact or punctured by A. bezzii larvae were removed per S. chicha fruit. The seeds were subjected to a germination test performed using one of four treatments: intact seeds without scarification (T1); intact seeds scarified for 3 min with sandpaper number 40 on one side of each seed (T2); drilled seeds without scarification (T3); and drilled seeds scarified for 3 min with sandpaper number 40 on one side of each seed (T4). The germination of S. chicha seeds was highest in the T2 group (72.6%), intermediate in the T1 (51.7%) and T4 groups (33.1%), and lowest in the T3 group (11.2%). The attack by A. bezzii of the fruits and seeds of S. chicha can be detrimental to seed germination and thus the further establishment of this native species in the field. The scarification of intact seeds of S. chicha for 3 min with sandpaper number 40 on one side of each seed can overcome the dormancy for its production in nurseries.

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