Combining Osmopriming and Biopriming

in HortScience
Authors:
J.E. WarrenDept. of Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH 43210

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M.A. BennettDept. of Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH 43210

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Osmopriming has been shown to enhance seed performance by increasing germination rates and uniformity. Furthermore, these enhancements persist under less-than-optimum conditions, such as salinity, reduced water availability, and excessively high or low temperatures. Additional benefits include resistance to soil pathogens due to lower leachate levels and more rapid emergence. To augment these existing qualities, it would be advantageous to incorporate beneficial organisms that antagonize soil-borne diseases, combining the benefits of both systems into a single procedure. To accomplish this, processing tomato seeds (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. OH8245) were bioprimed in aerated –0.8 Mpa NaNO3 at 20°C for 4 days, at which time a mixture of nutrient broth, a defoaming agent, and beneficial bacteria that has been adjusted to the same osmotic potential is added. The bacteria used, Pseudomonas aureofaciens AB254, has been proved to control Pythium ultimum on a variety of crop seeds. After 7 days the seeds are removed having been primed and colonized with 105 colony forming units (cfu)/seed. In the absence of pathogen pressure, osmoprimed and bio-osmoprimed seeds performed similarly improving overall germination by 40% after 3 days, as well as low temperature (10–15°C) germination. However, when these seeds were sown in soilless media inoculated with P. ultimum, osmoprimed and bio-osmoprimed emergence was 57% and 74%, respectively, showing the improvements that these biologicals can provide. Thermogradient table results, storage tests, cfu/seed, and pathogen control will be discussed.

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