Date of this Version
American Journal of Plant Sciences, 2013, 4, 2015-2022
Increasing winter wheat seedling growth would make it a better winter cover crop. Gibberellic acid (GA3) seed treat- ment may accomplish this by stimulating stem growth. A bioassay, mimicking field conditions, could determine the relative sensitivity of conventional and semi-dwarf cultivars. In growth chambers set for cool (10°C/4°C) and warm (21°C/4°C) conditions, wheat seeds were treated with 0 and 125 to 16,000 ppm GA3. The cultivars Goodstreak (tall or conventional) and Wesley (semi-dwarf) were compared as standards. Emergence and plant height were measured. “Goodstreak” showed a significant growth promotion at 500 ppm GA3 when seeds were dipped and 2000 ppm when GA3 was applied in-furrow under both temperature regimes. “Wesley” in general required the same or a higher dose of GA3. Separately, the seeds of nine other cultivars were treated with GA3 as the standards. Based on maximum height promotion, the most sensitive cultivars under cool conditions were Goodstreak, Harry, Millenium, and Wahoo; under warm conditions, the most sensitive cultivars were Alliance, Goodstreak, Jagalene, and Millenium. In general, the least GA3 sensitive cultivars were Arrowsmith, Scout66, and Wesley. “Buckskin” and “InfinityCL” were intermediate. The rye cultivar Rymin also was tested and showed less sensitivity to GA3 than “Goodstreak”. When 6 benzyladenine (6BA) with GA3 was applied to “Goodstreak” and “Wesley” seed, emergence, plant height and weight, and tiller formation were reduced. Wheat cultivars will respond to GA3 and differ in the amount of GA3 needed. The results of this growth chamber study will guide subsequent field trials.