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Effects of temperature on the germination of Trifolium Resupinatum and T. Balansae

P.I. Jansen and R.L. Ison

School of Crop Sciences, University of Sydney 2006

Studies are being conducted with the recently commercialised species T. resupinatum and T. balansae to investigate factors contributing to their possible ecological success in Australian farming systems. Emphasis is being given to factors affecting seed production, hardseededness and timing of autumn regeneration of these new annual species. This paper reports a study of germination responses to temperature over the range 10 to 35C. Trifolium subterraneum cv. Junee and Maral Persian clover (T. resupinatum ssp. majus) were included for comparison.

Methods

Seed of T. balansae cv. Paradana, cvv. Junee and Maral, and T. resupinatum ssp. resupinatum cv. Kyambro and lines SA 12240 and 14433 was placed in germination trays on germination pads at 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35C. Seed was obtained from commercial growers and the SA Department of Agriculture. Germination was allowed to proceed for 14 days after which the number of germinated seedlings was counted (4 reps.).

Results and discussion

Results from the experiment are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Germination (as % of soft seed) after 14 days.

Germination percentages of all cultivars of T. resupinatum ssp.resupinatum and T. balansae were reduced above 25C, which is consistent with results previously described [1]. However T.resupinatum ssp. majus cv. Maral showed no reduction in germination at higher temperatures. This response to temperature in Maral has not been described previously; future experiments will investigate the ecological significance of these cultivar differences in the effect of temperature on germination within T. resupinatum.

1. Dalianis C.D. (1980); Seed Science and Technology 8, 323-331.

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