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Seedborne mycoflora and germination of seeds of new bioenergy grass species, tall wheatgrass, and other cool-season grass species

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Diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms are one of the major factors that can influence grass yield. Diseases may occur throughout the life of a crop, from establishment to harvest. With increasing specialisation and intensification of grass production, routine disease control programmes are becoming part of crop management. However, growing environmental concerns about routine pesticide use needs thorough understanding of infection processes, especially for newly introduced crops.

The analysis of seed health and germination capacity of seed samples of new bioenergy grass species, tall wheatgrass (Elymus elongatus), together with samples of five other cool-season grass species, harvested in 2010, 2011 and 2012 were performed. Seeds, especially of tall wheatgrass and smooth brome, were contaminated by numerous species of fungi. Saprophytes and weak parasites such as Alternaria alternata, Epicoccum purpurascens, Aureobasidium pullulans and Penicillium spp. were most common. Pathogenic species were represented by Drechslera spp., Fusarium spp., Microdochium spp., Rhizoctonia spp., Phoma sp. and Bipolaris sorokiniana. Germination capacity of the examined seed samples was high, ranging from 69.7 to 95.3% depending on the year of harvest, species and variety or strain, and was reduced only by infection with Drechslera fungi.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2015

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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