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Determining Physiological Maturation of Jointed Goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica Host) Caryopses

  • Michael P. Quinn (a1), Don W. Morishita (a1) and William J. Price (a2)


Information on jointed goatgrass caryopsis development is currently lacking in published literature. It is hoped that through a better understanding of jointed goatgrass caryopsis ontogeny more effective weed-management strategies will be developed. Greenhouse experiments were initiated in fall 2002 and 2003 and completed the following spring seasons. Jointed goatgrass plants were started from spikelets, vernalized for 8 wk at 4 C, and grown in a greenhouse. Treatments were the number of days after anthesis (DAA) that a spike was allowed to remain on the plant before harvesting and ranged from 2 to 34 DAA, in increments of 1 (2002) or 2 (2003) d. Individual spikes were divided at harvest into three sections: top, middle, and bottom, disarticulated from the rachis, placed into a germinator, and germination recorded each day. Goatgrass spikelets germinated as early as 2 DAA, although spikelets harvested <7 DAA had <3% germination for all spike sections and were extremely variable, especially for the middle and bottom sections. Time to germination was similar for all sections of the spike. Maximum average germination of the top section was 72% compared with 86% for the bottom and middle sections. Our data suggest that factors other than developmental rate (i.e., dormancy) may affect germination in sections of the spike. A second year of the experiment was conducted for validation. Model validation suggested that although trends were similar in both years, variation in germination response might be too great for accurate, predictive model construction. The early germination shown in this research demonstrates that control measures must be implemented earlier than previously prescribed to prevent jointed goatgrass reproduction.


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