Effect of climatic conditions on endophyte and seed viability in stored ryegrass seed
Survival of Neotyphodium fungal endophyte in stored grass seed is a critical component in the supply of quality seed to farmers. From seed harvest to the following spring, endophyte survival is generally maintained as a result of low ambient temperature. However, seed to be sown the following autumn (over 1 year from harvest) has aged and is exposed ambient temperature and relative humidity which may compromise both endophyte and seed viability. To examine this, endophyte-infected ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) seed was stored for up to 1 year at three geographic locations in New Zealand or Australia, which differed in temperature and/or relative humidity. Seed viability showed little or no change at the New Zealand locations, and a moderate decline at the Queensland Australia location. In contrast, endophyte viability declined in a logistic relationship at all locations over time. This decline occurred earlier and was most rapid in Queensland Australia, was least in central New Zealand, and intermediate in northern New Zealand. This corresponded closely with the differing temperatures at each location, and in New Zealand, possibly with relative humidity.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2011
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