Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/6/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Rapid seed germination is an important characteristic when it comes to plant stand establishment under variable environmental conditions. This research was designed to improve the seed germination of six experimental Syn-0 lines of little bluestem [Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash]. Two cycles of recurrent selection were used to develop Syn-1 and Syn-2 lines from six experimental Syn-0 lines. Cycle 1 consisted of germinating 3,500 open-pollinated seeds of each Syn-0 line in water of –0.8 MPa potential for seven days. All seeds that germinated in seven days (approximately 250 for each of the six lines) were selected to create six Syn-1 lines. Cycle 2 selection was similar to Cycle 1, except that Syn-1 lines were used to create six Syn-2 lines. To test the effects of selection, four 50-sessile spikelet samples of the 18 lines were germinated in water of –0.8 MPa potential for seven days for seeds harvested in 2015 and 2016. Germination of Syn-1 seeds was 3.7% higher than Syn-0 seeds, and Syn-2 seeds were 16.2% higher than Syn-1 seeds. Selection for improved seed germination at a low water potential simultaneously increased the speed of seed germination as well as 50-sessile spikelet weight. Thus, it was possible to increase the seed germination of the six little bluestem lines at the water potential used with recurrent selection with the added benefits of increased speed of seed germination and increased 50-sessile spikelet weight.