Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) is an important warm-season grass mainly used for forage production. However, seed dormancy and poor stand establishment has restricted its widespread adoption. To better understand dormancy mechanisms associated with the seed covering
structures of eastern gamagrass, this study measured water uptake and respiration rate of mechanically treated seeds during germination in a non-dormant and dormant lot of 'Pete' cultivar. Mechanical treatments including intact cupule (IC), cupulated caryopsis top removal (CCTR), cupule removal
(CR), and caryopsis top removal (CTR) were used. Seeds from all treatments rapidly absorbed water and reached the plateau of water uptake (phase II) after 48-72 hours of imbibition on moistened blotters with a water uptake of 32-50%. The cupule played a more important role than the pericarp
in restricting germination of the non-dormant lot, while the pericarp was the main factor that inhibited germination of the dormant lot when incubated at constant 25 °C. Breaking the integrity of the cupule and the pericarp enhanced water uptake and germination speed of the non-dormant
lot, as well as respiration rate of the dormant lot, compared with seeds with the covering structures intact (CCTR > IC, CTR > CR). The seed covering structures restricted germination when imbibed at a constant temperature due to their effect on oxygen restriction to the embryo rather
than a barrier to water uptake.
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Document Type: Research Article
July 1, 2019
This article was made available online on August 9, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Water uptake, respiration and germination of eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) seeds as influenced by mechanical seed treatments: Unlocking mechanisms of seed dormancy".
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