Original scientific paper
Dormancy and germination of Johnson grass seed (Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.)
2016, 17 (3) p. 725-733
The aim of the research was to determine the effectiveness of various methods for breaking seed dormancy of weed species Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.) and their influence on germination and seedlings growth. Beside control treatment, eight treatments for breaking dormancy of seeds were applied: seed immersion in distilled water for 24 hours; seed immersion in water at 60 °C for 1 hour; immersion in a 0.2% solution of potassium nitrate for 24 hours; immersion in 2% solution of sodium hypochlorite for 8 hours; treatments with concentrated sulphuric acid for 5 and 10 minutes; treatment with concentrated sulphuric acid for 5 minutes and germination in darkness; and combined treatment of sulphuric acid (5 minutes) and 1.5% potassium nitrate solution (2 hours). Average germination of Johnson grass seeds in control treatment was very low, only 2.8%. All dormancy breaking treatments increased seed germination and the highest germination was observed in treatment with combination of sulphuric acid and potassium nitrate (35.0%) and treatment with 2% sodium hypochlorite (30.6%). However, sodium hypochlorite reduced root length of seedlings for 40.9% compared to control, while all treatments had a positive effect on Johnson grass shoot length. Total seedlings length was the highest when seeds were treated for 5 minutes with sulphuric acid. None of the treatments showed significant effect on Johnson grass seedlings fresh weight. Seed germinated fastest in treatment with a combination of sulphuric acid and potassium nitrate (4.58 days), and slowest when seeds were immersed in water (8.16 days) and in the 2% solution of sodium hypochlorite (8.92 days).