Title: Germination of Southern Ecotypes of Switchgrass Germplasm Authors
Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 26, 2011
Publication Date: October 16, 2011
Citation: Harrison Dunn, M.L., Pinnow, D.L. 2011. Germination of Southern Ecotypes of Switchgrass Germplasm. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. San Antonio, TX (Oct. 16-19, 2011). Technical Abstract: Switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L., is a warm season perennial grass native to the United States in a range encompassing all continental states except for California. Switchgrass produces large amounts of biomass, requires little input, and is drought tolerant , making it an excellent candidate for biofuel production. There are currently 324 accessions of switchgrass in the NPGS collection. Sixty of these accessions were collected from Florida in 2008 and 2009. These southern ecotypes have proved difficult to germinate using standard techniques with germination rates ranging from 0% to 10%. The majority of the material (34 accessions) has 0% germination. Several alternate techniques have been employed in an attempt to improve germination rates. Preliminary results indicate that relatively simple and inexpensive changes to the germination protocol can profoundly improve the germination of these southern ecotypes.