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HYB: Germination Experiment--long


During the winter, I asked for advice on germination methods.  Being a retired
scientist, I decided to try a simple, limited experiment since germination of
diploid MTB seeds is so poor (5% for me).  First I had three years of seeds to
plant (96 crosses, almost 2000 seeds).  Three crosses produced enough seeds
that was I comfortable dividing them into thirds.  Most of the seeds were
planted at he beginning of Jan04 (a little late) in pots of various size
depending on number of seeds.  Good potting soil was used, a thin layer of
wood chip mulch was added , and the pots kept moist until germination was
complete (early May).
The crosses that were divided into thirds were treated as such:
A.  A third planted outdoors with all other seeds.
B.  A third soaked in water for 14 days and planted outdoors as other seeds.
C.  A third soaked in water for 14 days and stored in wet paper towel for 3
months in the frig (so-called burrito method) and then planted as the other
seeds outdoors.
Results:
Cross    Seeds/expt    Germ A    B    C
L35         42                    1          2    12
K28        30                     0          0     3
K67        50                    5           2    16

Notes:  A small number of seeds in each "burrito" had started to germinate
after the 3 month period.
The K67 cross was a tetraploid cross (Zing Me x Ben A Factor) and gave better
overall germination.  Another tet cross (SDB sdlg x New Wave) gave near 40%
germination with Method A while the overal diploid crosses gave <5%
germination.

Plans: I'm returning a small number of potted seeds to the frig to see if
additional cold can improve the first year germination. (Some MTB seeds have
germinated well in the 2nd year in the past under very uncontrolled
conditions).
I want to know if the soaking before the "burrito" is necessary.  It adds a
lot of work and offers an opportunity to mix up seed ID.

Comments are welcome
Chuck Bunnell
Lafayette, IN
Region 6
Zone 5a-5b

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