Yes tomato seeds can germinate within itself and it is not unusual for tomatoes and its family members.
I brought organic tomatoes and kept them in kitchen so that they ripe completely. They remain as it is for more than two weeks, then i decided to use them, as soon as i cut one of them, i saw green sprouts developing inside it. First tomato i threw, then i tried second, then third all four were spouted. i was shocked but later i thought i must search about it.
Later I realised their are many people in the world those who have experienced this kind of thing.This condition of seed germination is called as “vivipary”, it means; giving birth to live ones, like mammals but in plants it is a rare phenomenon.
What can be the reason for it?
- Decrease in Abscisic acid
- Moisture inside tomatoes
- Potassium deficiency/excess of nitrogen
- Genetic factors
- Due to some parasite
- Changes in Rin gene
- Abscisic acid(ABA) is a natural plant regulator hormone. when it decreases in overripe tomatoes( harvested long back as in my case), the mature seeds break their dormancy and starts sprouting within it. Usually in hybrid tomatoes this is not the case because they are supplied with artificial hormones during cultivation that’s why they can be stored for long time.
- Moisture inside the tomatoes help the seeds to germinate without drying. tomato act as a mothers womb, it provide protection, warm and moist environment and nourishment.
- Potassium deficiency/excess of nitrogen is also thought to be the reson for vivipary. As we know organically grown fruits and vegetables are provided with lots of organic manure and that is rich in nitrogen.
- Genetic factors can also cause viviparity for eg:-tomatoes on vine variety are more prone to show vivipary.
- Due to some parasite-vivipary can also be caused by phytoplasms (bacteria like parasites carried by leaf hoppers).
- Changes in Rin gene– rin gene is a fruit ripening inhibitor . If there is any mutation in this gene the fruits will fail to ripen. Addition to it rin plants display enlarged sepals and loss of inflorescence determinancy.
- Hypo-osmolality(low osmossis) in rin fruits(like tomato) may be an important factor in permitting limited viviparous germination.
It was interesting to know about vivipary and sharing my views with you all on the same.
Here are some new photographs of vivipary:-
- Vivipary in Tomato-
- Vivipary in Capsicum-