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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISCOVERY AND EVALUATION OF CLASSICAL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS FOR INVASIVE EURASIAN WEEDS AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL AND NATURAL AREAS Title: Variation in seed traits and germination potential of Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav. Following its invasion in Greece

item Oukhouia, Franck -
item Guermache, Fatiha -
item Kashefi, Javid -
item Fried, Guillaume -
item Bon, Marie-Claude -

Submitted to: Biological Control Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 24, 2014
Publication Date: May 22, 2014
Citation: Oukhouia, F., Guermache, F., Kashefi, J., Fried, G., Bon, M. 2014. Variation in seed traits and germination potential of Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav. Following its invasion in Greece. 4th International Symposium on Environmental Weeds and Invasive Plants, Montpellier, May, 19th-23rd 2014, France. pp 84.

Technical Abstract: Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav. (Silverleaf nightshade) is presently considered to be one of the worst agricultural weeds around the world including the Mediterranean basin. Plant’s native range is considered to be an area expanding from Southern US to Northern Mexico. Introduced unintentionally from southwestern USA to Greece on several occasions, the weed is widespread in Greece and is locally extremely abundant. Over the last two decades, biocontrol of Silverleaf nightshade has been considered as a management strategy in Australia, South Africa but not yet in Greece. There, it seems that the weed is able to reproduce by seeds and by rhizomes or roots. But, prior to initiating search and collection of potential natural enemies that attack specific parts of the invasive, it is important to carry out a comprehensive study on the life history traits which are triggering its invasiveness in Greece. We asked whether seed production, seed traits and germination potential are different between two populations of invasive (Greece) and native (Texas) origin. We found that tow phenotypic traits differed between the two origins: Greek seeds were thicker and heavier than Texan seeds. We evidenced that viability of non germinated seeds was higher in Greek seeds than in Texan seeds, suggesting a higher potential of the Greek seeds. We assumed that Greek seeds have a survival advantage over Texan seeds during seedling establishment. Given the importance of the seeds in the invasiveness of Silverleaf nightshade in Greece, seed feeders may play a crucial role, if specific enough in reducing spread of the weed in Greece.

Last Modified: 7/4/2015
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