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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Global Change and Photosynthesis Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #261292

Title: Maternal Corn Environment Influences Wild-proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum) Seed Characteristics

item Williams, Martin
item Schutte, Brian
item SO, YIM - Germains Seed Technology

Submitted to: North Central Weed Science Society US Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2010
Publication Date: 12/13/2010
Citation: Williams, M., Schutte, B.J., So, Y.F. 2010. Maternal Corn Environment Influences Wild-proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum) Seed Characteristics. North Central Weed Science Society US Proceedings. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Evidence suggests the maternal environment of the developing weed has important implications to seed physiology of certain species. This work quantified the extent to which within-crop variability in the maternal environment altered wild-proso millet seed coat color and germinability. In field studies conducted in 2006 and 2007, wild-proso millet was grown in four sweet corn hybrids representing a range of market types and differing in canopy architecture. Germination assays were conducted four to six weeks after crop harvest. Seed coat color and tone (i.e. lightness) were quantified from scanned images of seed using a Red Green Blue (RGB) color model. Germinability of wild-proso millet varied with sweet corn hybrid. Seed from wild-proso millet plants maturing in hybrid Quickie were seven to nine percent less dormant than seed maturing in Mystic and Rocker, hybrids capturing 26% more light than Quickie. Polymorphism in seed coat color among maternal environments was narrower than observed among wild-proso millet biotypes in previous work; however, some differences in RGB scores were observed. Correlation analysis of crop phenomorphological traits and germinability indicated a maternal environment with a longer vegetative period and more upright crop leaves produced wild-proso millet seed with lower germinability. These same maternal environments produced wild-proso millet seed that was reduced in individual RGB scores and seeds were generally darker, compared to smaller crop plants. This work shows that within-crop variation in the maternal environment of sweet corn influences germinability of wild-proso millet, and to a lesser extent, seed coat color.