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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 86 No. 4, p. 667-672
    Received: Aug 20, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s):


Growth Regulator and Seed Storage Effects on Switchgrass Germination

  1. Mark E. Zarnstorff ,
  2. Robert D. Keys and
  3. Douglas S. Chamblee
  1. Dep. of Crop Science, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC 27695-7620



Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a warm season perennial grass that shows potential as a forage in the southeastern USA. Problems with Switchgrass establishment from seed are often due to inherent seed dormancy from seeds harvested in fall and seeded the following spring. The objectives of this study were to determine (i) the effects of wet prechill (PC) treatment (5°C for 14 d) and scarification (8 M H2SO4 for 5 min) on germination of five Switchgrass cultivars and (ii) the effect of plant growth regulators (ethylene, gibberellin, and kinetin), CO2, PC, and influence of storage temperature and duration on germination of four selected lots of Blackwell (BW) and Cave-in-Rock (CIR) seeds. Storage treatments were initiated 1 February using seeds harvested the previous fall. Early germination percentage (7d) was increased between 22 and 73 by PC, while final germination percentage (28 d) was increased between 2 and 40. Germination of BW 6086 was increased from 60 to 63% by ethylene, and from 59 to 65% by gibberellin (α = 0.05). Seeds stored at −8°C showed little change in early or final germination with time of storage (90 d to 4 yr). Dormancy of BW 1198, BW 6086, and CIR 6012 was largely broken after 90 d of storage at 23°C. Germination of seeds stored at 23 °C generally started to decline after 180 d to 2 yr. Postharvest storage of seeds at 23° C from January to April (90d) should ensure adequate germination at time of seeding.

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