Submitted to: Journal of Applied Seed Production
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 9, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Blind seed is a fungal disease of grass seed, especially tall fescue and perennial ryegrass, that reduces seed germination. In recent years, the disease has increased in severity in some seed production fields. In a survey of tall fescue and perennial ryegrass seed samples from 1994-1997, blind seed severity varied among years, with no evidence for increase with respect to time. However, blind seed in an early maturing cultivar of tall fescue increased with increasing rainfall. Many of the cultivars flower during a period of little rainfall, conditions not favorable for blind seed development. Except for a few early maturing cultivars of tall fescue, blind seed does not appear to pose a threat to grass seed production in Oregon.
Technical Abstract: In 1995 and 1997, blind seed was detected in 6-8% of seed samples of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), although less than one percent of samples contained more than one percent infected seed. In 1995, blind seed occurred in less than one percent of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) samples tested and in no samples did blind seed exceed one percent infected seed. Among four fields of tall fescue, evaluated from 1994-1997, blind seed severity varied among years, with no evidence for increase with respect to time. However, blind seed severity, based on conidial number from a seed washing procedure, increased with increasing rainfall during May. The relationship between conidial numbers washed from seed and percent infected seed was defined by a linear function.