Priming Seeds in Aqueous Smoke Solutions Improves Germination of Agropyron dasystachyum, Dactylis glomerata, Elymus angustus, Elymus junceus, and Festuca hallii
Seeds of many grasses and legumes from the Canadian Prairies have dormancy which prevents the germination of viable seeds in otherwise favorable conditions. Plant-derived smoke can improve germination in dormant seeds. Seeds of eight grasses, two legumes, and Lactuca sativa were investigated for the effects of seed priming in aqueous smoke solutions on germination, seedling emergence, seedling growth, and standing crop. Aqueous smoke solutions were produced by bubbling smoke generated from the incomplete combustion of wheat straw (Triticum aestivum cv. Unity) or prairie hay (Festuca hallii) through distilled water. Seeds were primed for 24 h in darkness using serial dilutions (1/1000v/v, 1/100v/v, 1/10v/v and 1/1v/v) of the aqueous smoke solutions. After priming, seeds were dried at 20°C in darkness for 7d and placed in petri dishes containing filter paper, after which 5 mL of distilled water were applied. Seeds were incubated at 10/0°C or 25/15°C in 12h light/12h darkness or 24 h darkness for 49 d. Seeds were also primed using 1/100v/v aqueous smoke solutions of wheat straw or prairie hay and seeded in the field. Non-primed seeds and those primed in distilled water (0/1v/v) were used as controls. Within species, germination varied significantly (P≤0.05) among concentrations of aqueous solutions of smoke, smoke type, light, temperature, and their interactions. Total germination of Astragalus cicer, Trifolium ambiguum, Hesperostipa comata, Stipa viridula, and Pascopyrum smithii was not changed by priming seeds. Depending on light or temperature treatments, priming seeds of Agropyron dasystachyum, Elymus junceus, Dactylis glomerata, Elymus angustus, and Festuca hallii in aqueous smoke solutions improved germination by 16%, 20%, 32%, 49%, and 50%, respectively. Priming seeds in aqueous smoke solutions reduced the number of days to 50% germination for Trifolium ambiguum, Lactuca sativa, Festuca hallii, and Stipa viridula (2 d), Elymus junceus (3 d), Dactylis glomerata (4 d), Hesperostipa comata (10 d), and Pascopyrum smithii (15 d). Priming seeds in aqueous smoke solutions increased seedling lengths (combined hypocotyl and radicle lengths) for Elymus angustus and Hesperostipa comata by 28% and 100%, respectively, but it reduced seedling lengths of Lactuca sativa, Festuca hallii, and Trifolium ambiguum. Seedlings from seeds primed in aqueous smoke solutions generated from wheat straw were longer for Lactuca sativa (83%), Elymus angustus (52%), and Hesperostipa comata (36%) as compared with prairie hay, respectively. Priming seeds interacted with smoke type to increase seedling lengths for Pascopyrum smithii (92%), Elymus junceus (100%), and Agropyron dasystachyum (100%), but it reduced seedling lengths for Astralagus cicer (26%), Trifolium ambiguum (55%), and Dactylis glomerata (90%). Exposing seeds to aqueous smoke solutions partially substituted a light requirement for germination in Pascopyrum smithii, Festuca hallii, Hesperostipa comata, Dactylis glomerata, Agropyron dasystachyum, Stipa viridula, and Elymus junceus. Priming seeds in aqueous smoke solutions increased standing crop of Dactylis glomerata by 57%, but total seedling emergence and rate of emergence of seedlings in the field were not different (P>0.05) among priming treatments. Priming seeds in aqueous smoke solutions generated from wheat straw or prairie hay can stimulate germination in Agropyron dasystachyum, Dactylis glomerata, Elymus junceus, Elymus angustus, and, Festuca hallii.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorRomo, Jim; Bai, Yuguang
CommitteeCoulman, Bruce; Tanino, Karen; Lamb, Eric
Copyright DateJune 2014
Pascopyrum smithii, dormancy, grasses, standing crop