Submitted to: Annual Beet Sugar Development Foundation Executive Report
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2004
Publication Date: 6/30/2004
Citation: McGrath, J.M. 2004. Alternative approaches to seedling emergence and stand establishment. 2003 Annual Beet Sugar Development Foundation Executive Report. p. 17.
Technical Abstract: Germination is fundamental in obtaining a harvestable crop. Good stands of sugar beet may be more difficult to achieve than most crops. Moisture, temperature, and impedance affect the ability of beets to emerge. Large differences between germination under ideal and field conditions undoubtedly are due to stress conditions experienced by the germinating seed. An approach we take to study variety differences in germination may allow prediction of field emergence by germinating seeds in aqueous solutions. These assays are done rapidly, with minimal training, and are reproducible. Exploitation of this system for more detailed understanding of genetically controlled physiological responses is helping to understand the complex nature of germination in relation to the environment. A numerical predictor of seedling vigor was developed that compares number of seeds germinated in hydrogen peroxide with those germinated in salt solutions. Evaluation and acceptance of this predictor will allow seed producers to better evaluate their germplasm for difficult to measure seedling vigor traits, and ultimately provide high vigor seed to growers.