Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2008
Publication Date: 1/11/2008
Citation: Mcmichael, B.L., Burke, J.J., Wedegaertner, T.C. 2008. The impact of seed treatment on early crop development and yield. Beltwide Cotton Conference. Nashville, Tennessee. January 8-11, 2008. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The successful establishment of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) seedlings is critical for early crop development and productivity. Past research has shown that an application of the plant growth regulator, ethylene, to seed or seedlings can improve root development, increase hypocotyl diameters and yield. Therefore a study was conducted to determine the impact of seed treatments of various concentrations of ethephon ( an ethylene precursor) on seedling emergence and to evaluate morphological changes in field grown seedlings as a result of a spray application of ethephon. Small containers were filled with soil and cottonseed (cv. Fibermax 960) was dipped in ethephon solutions ranging from 3.8 to .00375molar for 10 seconds before planting in the containers. Seedlings were allowed to grow for 10 days after which the soil was washed from the roots and root lengths and root dry weights were measured. Seed of the same variety was dipped in 0.03 molar ethephon prior to planting in the field where emergence, stem diameters and yields were measured. The laboratory results showed that an ethephon concentration of 0.03 molar yielded the highest seedling lateral root length compared to a control where seed were dipped in water for 10mseconds. When seed were treated with 0.03 molar ethephon and planted in the field, there was a reduction in the rate of emergence in the ethephon treated seed but the stem diameters of the seedlings were higher in the ethephon treated plants. There was a decrease however, in the estimated yields of the ethephon treated plants. Since the stem diameters of the ethephon treated seedlings were significantly higher, further work to determine the impact of the increase in diameters on the ability of the seedlings to withstand wind and sand abrasion with minimal damage.