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TGP, transgenerational plasticity
Farm environmental conditions and management practices can result in within-cultivar differences in seed quality and lead to transgenerational plasticity (farm-specific effects on offspring, or TGP) that affect germination and emergence in transplant fields. We used three perennial bunchgrasses, [green needlegrass (Nassella viridula) ‘Lodorm’, slender wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus) ‘Pryor’, and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoregneria spicata) prevariety registered germplasm P-7] to determine if seeds exhibited TGP. We also determined if TGP was affected by the interaction between production farms and planting environments (farm × environment interaction, or context-dependent TGP), using four laboratory temperature regimes to test germination response and four field environments to test emergence response in 2013. We stored seeds in four different environments for 10 mo before repeating the experiment to test if recent seed storage conditions mitigated TGP. Contextdependent TGP affected emergence for Pryor and Lodorm both years, however, only Pryor exhibited context-dependent TGP for germination in 2013. Sources with low germination and emergence in the field were less likely to exhibit context-dependent TGP. Some transplant fields did not show differences among sources, but in other transplant fields, emergence increased as much as 24% depending on farm source. The effect of recent seed storage conditions, significant only for Pryor, was opposite for germination and emergence, with room-temperature stored seeds exhibiting the highest emergence and lowest germination. Context-dependent TGP in emergence could not be predicted by our coarse information regarding seed production environments and storage conditions or by germination in the lab. Nonetheless, context-dependent TGP significantly determined emergence in two of the three study species. Mechanisms underlying this phenomenon need further study to understand potential benefits and pitfalls for producers and seed buyers.
DOI of Published Version
American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America
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Espeland, Erin K.; Perkins, Lora B.; Horning, Matthew E.; and Johnson, Richard C., "Seed Source May Determine Field-Specific Germination and Emergence: The Source by Planting Environment Interaction" (2016). Natural Resource Management Faculty Publications. 203.