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Soaking effects on seed germination and fungal infection in Picea abies

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The effect of soaking on germination and occurrence of fungal infections on Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seeds and germinants was studied in three commercial seed lots. Treatments in which seeds were soaked in water for 24 h or in which the water was changed during the soak did not have an effect on the species diversity or on the abundance of the fungi isolated from the seeds. Different fungi were found in different seed lots. Most of those isolated are saprophytic or weakly pathogenic, but pathogens such as Sirococcus conigenus (D.C.) P.F. Cannon & Minter and Trichothecium roseum (Pers.) Link were also isolated. Soaking increased germination energy but had no effect on final germination percentage. The number of mouldy seeds and germinants with disease symptoms was different among seed lots when seeds were germinated on water agar. When germinated in low humified Sphagnum peat, no differences in the emergence of disease symptoms were observed among seed lots. The frequency of disease was lower in peat than in water agar. Soaking had no effect on disease emergence in germination trials on either water agar or in Sphagnum peat.
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Keywords: Damping-off; disease management; germination test; seed production; seed-borne fungi

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Suonenjoki Research Unit,Finnish Forest Research Institute, Suonenjoki, Finland 2: Vantaa Research Unit,Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa, Finland

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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