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Inducing rapid seed germination of native cool season grasses with solid matrix priming and seed extrusion technology

Germino, M., Madsen, M.D., Svejcar, L.N., Radke, J. and Hulet, A. (2018) Inducing rapid seed germination of native cool season grasses with solid matrix priming and seed extrusion technology. PloS one, 13 (10). e0204380.

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Abstract

There is a need to develop effective techniques for establishing native vegetation in dryland ecosystems. We developed a novel treatment that primes (hydrates) seeds in a matrix of absorbent materials and bio-stimulants and then forms the mixture into pods for planting. In the development process, we determined optimal conditions for priming seeds and then compared seedling emergence from non-treated seeds, non-primed-seed pods, and primed-seed pods. Emergence trials were conducted on soils collected from a hillslope and ridgetop location on the Kaibab Plateau, Arizona, USA. Poa fendleriana and Pseudoroegneria spicata were used as test species. Seeds were primed from -0.5 to -2.5 MPa for up to 12 d. Seeds primed under drier conditions (-1.5 to -2.5 MPa) tended to have quicker germination. Days to 50% emergence for primed-seed pods was between 66.2 to 82.4% faster (5.2 to 14.5 d fewer) than non-treated seeds. Seedling emergence from primed-seed pods for P. fendleriana was 3.8-fold higher than non-treated seeds on the ridgetop soil, but no difference was found on the other soil. Final density of P. spicata primed-seed pods were 2.9 to 3.8-fold higher than non-treated seeds. Overall, primed-seed pods show promise for enhancing germination and seedling emergence, which could aid in native plant establishment.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2018 Madsen et al.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/42457
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