Skip to Main Content

The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Selection for reduced seed dormancy in switchgrass, big bluestem, and indiangrass
Year: 2002
Author(s): Denley, K. D., Baldwin, B. S.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 293
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Grass producers who wish to use switchgrass, big bluestem, and indiangrass for forage, land restoration, or biomass production production face problems of field establishment due to seed dormancy. Large percentages of seed fail to germinate when planted less than 24 months after harvest. Seed dormancy was selected against in natural populations of big bluestem and indiangrass using genotype recurrent selection. Mother plants were selected based on the performance of their seed in a controlled germination/dormancy test. Harvested seed was placed in a germinator 60 days after frost. Seed from approximately 60 mother plants was randomly assigned to 6 replications of 100 seed. Seed were placed in a germinator under alternating 20/30 degree Celcius temperatures. Only seed whose seed germinated in less than 15 days were placed in an isolation block for further seed production and screening. Switchgrass seed was screened for reduced dormancy using phenotypic selection to establish a mother plant nursery. A subsequent screening for vigor and genotype evaluation for non-dormant seed will be conducted on these plants. Populations from this research have the potential use in agricultural biomass production as well as prairie restoration.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall