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Warm -season grass germination and seedling development as affected by seed priming

Joseph M Debebe, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Vigor of warm-season grass seed may be improved by solid matrix priming post priming heat treatments, and bacterial inoculation. Switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum L.) and buffalograss [Buchloë dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] are most important warm-season grasses that once dominated the Midwest and Great Plains, but establishment is main problem. The main objective of the research was to improve the vigor of switchgrass and buffalograss seed by solid matrix priming, a post priming heat treatment and integration of solid matrix priming with inoculation with Azospirillum brasilense. Laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that solid matrix priming, integration of solid matrix priming with heat treatment (SMPHT) and bacterial inoculation had additive effects to improve vigor measured by percent germination, germination and emergence rate indices (GRI/ERI), time to 50% germination, (T50), root and shoot dry weight and plant tiller number. Solid matrix priming and post priming heat treatments increased germination percentage T50, and the germination/emergence rate index in laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments. Blending of primed and non-primed seeds may guard against failure of seed germination of the primed seeds if undesirable seedbed conditions exist. When SMPHT was incorporated with Azospirillum brasilense cd, the final percent emergence, ERI, shoot dry weight, root dry weight, increased by 92, 96, 86, 96% per pot in the greenhouse experiment on three lots of switchgrass. In the field experiment the final emergence, ERI, shoot, and root dry weight, and tiller number increased by 188, 121, 385, 155, 86%. Integrating solid matrix priming with bacterial inoculation and post priming heat treatment significantly improved the vigor of switchgrass and buffalograss. Thus, for warm-season grass establishment solid matrix priming has potential to increase establishment and reduce seeding rates. ^

Subject Area

Agriculture, Agronomy|Agriculture, Plant Culture

Recommended Citation

Debebe, Joseph M, "Warm -season grass germination and seedling development as affected by seed priming" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3201763.