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Research Project: Bridging Project: Integrated Forage Systems for Food and Energy Production in the Southern Great Plains

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Title: Enhancing germination of bromus auleticus seeds using a 15% hydrogen peroxide treatment

item Kindiger, Bryan

Submitted to: Seed Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/28/2019
Publication Date: 4/16/2019
Citation: Kindiger, B.K. 2019. Enhancing germination of bromus auleticus seeds using a 15% hydrogen peroxide treatment. Seed Science and Technology. 47(1):103-106.

Interpretive Summary: Argentine or Uruguay bromegrass represents one of the productive, perennial, cool-season grass forages of South America. The species has high forage quality, strong levels of persistence under dry, arid conditions and is productive during the winter and spring grazing periods when forage production is limited. Though successful as a forage in South America, evaluations of this species for use as a cool-season, perennial grass forage for the Southern Plains is limited. Beyond its value as a quality grass forage, the species has one limitation to full commercialization. This being that the seed has a natural occurring tendency for uniform or full germination. Domesticated species of untreated seed such as wheat, rye, corn, when sown, typically exhibit germination levels near 100%. Untreated Argentine bromegrass seed typically has a germination level around 11%. Methods are required to develop cultivars that do not express this inhibition to germination; or, develop inexpensive and rapid seed treatment methods to enhance seed germination. Prior research has indicated that a seven day pre-chilling regime will increase seed germination rates by about 20%. This study has introduced a secondary, seed priming step utilizing a 15% hydrogen peroxide as a reagent to break seed dormancy. Application of hydrogen peroxide was observed to increase seed germination by approximately 25%. Application of a pre-chilling, cold storage step, followed by a hydrogen peroxide seed priming step was able to attain germination levels of 50%. The utilization of hydrogen peroxide as an adjunct step in enhancing germination of Argentine bromegrass is suggested for use in Argentine bromegrass breeding programs. The 50% level of germination is likely not high enough for commercial application of this approach.

Technical Abstract: Bromus auleticus Trin. Ex Nees (2n=4x=28) is a popular and important bromegrass species for forage in South America. Performance trials in central Oklahoma have suggested this species may also have value as a forage for grazing livestock in the Southern Plains region of North America. Preliminary studies of B. auleticus in Oklahoma have suggested forage qualitiy and performance are comparable to tall fescue and smooth bromegrass checks. Seed dormancy, however, is a hurdle in the commercialization of this species. Seed priming and or pre-chilling approaches have been considered for increasing seed germination in species where inhibition to germination is encountered. The addition of a simple one hour pre-treatment method of 15% hydrogen peroxide has been observed to enhance Bromus auleticus by an additional 25% following pre-chilling seed treatments. This adjunct method following a pre-chilling approach was observed to attain germination rates near 50%.