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Persistence of triticale seed in the soil seed bank

Raatz, L.L., Yang, R.C., Beres, B.L., Hall, L.M. (2012). Persistence of triticale seed in the soil seed bank, 52(4), 1868-1880.


Spring triticale (×Triticosecale Wittm. ex A. Camus) is being developed as a bio-product crop for the Canadian prairies and may involve the use of genetic modification. Seed loss before or during harvest from genetically modified (GM) triticale could impact its ability to coexist with conventional crops. Experiments were conducted in Alberta, Canada, to determine if spring triticale exhibits primary dormancy relative to wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and whether seeds persist in the seed bank. Primary dormancy was assessed for four triticale cultivars, AC Alta, Blue Aleurone, Tyndal, and AC Ultima, and AC Barrie wheat by quantifying germination weekly from anthesis to postharvest. Seed persistence was assessed for the same cultivars by placing seed-filled mesh bags on the soil surface (0 cm) and at 2 and 12 cm burial depths. Before harvest in 2009, germinations were less than 56% for all cultivars. After harvest, AC Barrie and Blue Aleurone exhibited a short period of primary dormancy. In 2010, wet conditions were conducive to preharvest sprouting. Germinations ranged from 46 to 85% preharvest with no lingering primary dormancy postharvest. Seeds buried to 12 cm germinated readily, removing them from the seed bank within 7 mo, while 99% of seeds buried to 2 cm were nonviable 11 mo after burial. Seeds on the soil surface persisted longest; however, 99% were nonviable after 26 mo. Like wheat, triticale has little or no primary dormancy, and results from this study suggest triticale seed does not persist in the seed bank. © Crop Science Society of America.

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