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Recurrent selection increases seed germination in little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
- Tim L. Springer
- Euphytica 2017 v.213 no.12 pp. 279
- Schizachyrium scoparium, open pollination, plant breeding, rain, recurrent selection, seed germination, seeds, water potential
- Rainfall is often inadequate for satisfactory seed germination and emergence under field conditions. This research was designed to improve the seed germination of six experimental populations of little bluestem [Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash]. Two cycle of recurrent selection were used to develop Syn-1 and Syn-2 populations from six experimental Syn-0 populations. Cycle 1 consisted of germinating 3500 open-pollinated seeds of each Syn-0 population in water of − 0.8 MPa potential for 7-day. All germinated seeds (approximately 250 for each of the six populations) were selected to create six Syn-1 populations. Cycle 2 selection was similar to Cycle 1, except that Syn-1 populations were used to create six Syn-2 populations. To test the effects of selection, four 50-spikelet samples of the 18 populations were germinated in water of − 0.8 MPa potential for 7-day for two consecutive harvest years. Germination of Syn-1 seeds was 3.7% higher than Syn-0 seeds, and Syn-2 seeds were 16.2% higher than Syn-1 seeds. Thus, it was possible to increase the seed germination of the six little bluestem populations at the water potential used with recurrent selection.