Common teasel is an invasive and widespread weed in Argentina. Germination experiments were carried out from 2011 to 2014 to determine the effect of various environmental factors on germination and emergence. Germination of recently dispersed seeds was 12% in darkness at constant temperature. In contrast, seed exposure to light and alternating temperatures enhanced germination to 95%. The requirement of light and alternating temperatures suggest that common teasel has physiological dormancy. Several experiments were carried out to determine whether (1) seed responses to light and alternating temperatures have a hormonal basis, (2) seed coats can suppress germination, and (3) time and thermal conditions during seed storage reduce light and alternating temperature requirements. Germination was reduced (≤ 13%) by a gibberellin synthesis inhibitor. In contrast, the presence of gibberellins and an abscisic acid synthesis inhibitor increased germination to 95 and 38%, respectively. Results suggest that a higher ratio among gibberellins and abscisic acid (GA/ABA) leads to a break in dormancy. Germination was 100% when embryos were excised, suggesting that seed coats may suppress germination by mechanical restriction. Likewise, germination was enhanced by hydrogen peroxide (70%). This compound is known to increase GA/ABA ratio in agreement with a hormonal control of dormancy proposed for common teasel. An increment of storage time reduces light and alternating temperature requirements, allowing seeds to germinate in darkness. Taking these results together confirms that common teasel has physiological dormancy. Seedling emergence was progressively reduced from 70 to 8% by increased burial depth from 0 to 3 cm. Information from these experiments may facilitate development of effective management for common teasel.
Nomenclature: Common teasel Dipsacus fullonum L. DIFU2.