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Remi Bonnart, Anthony Koski and Harrison Hughes

Native turfgrasses have received greater attention in recent years because of their usefulness in growing in areas where many other grasses cannot. Saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) has good salt tolerance, but the natural germination rate for the seed is low. This is most likely due to the thickness of the seed coat inhibiting normal imbibition of water. Previous research in our laboratory has demonstrated increased germination with hand-scarification. The purpose of this research was to compare germination rates of machine-scarified, hand-scarified, and nonscarified seed. Scarifying the seeds by hand results in greater uniformity, but the operation is tedious and time-consuming. Machine scarification is quick, but the seeds have reduced uniformity. Two seed lots, one designated “Modoc” and one designated “Granite,” were compared in laboratory and field germination tests. Preliminary observations have shown that “Granite” seed had somewhat higher viability and vigor than the “Modoc” seed. Significantly greater germination occurred with scarification when seeds were germinated at 14 h of light at 30 °C and 10 h of darkness at 20 °C in the laboratory. Although scarification treatments were similar with the “Granite” seeds, near 80% germination, there were significant differences between hand and machine scarification with the”Modoc” seeds; hand scarified seed had greater germination. The field germination experiment had similar results to the laboratory experiments with “Granite” seed. However, scarification did not aid germination of “Modoc” seed. This is thought to be due to low vigor and associated death of seedlings prior to emergence. Preliminary data confirm the low vigor of the “Modoc” seed as compared to “Granite” seed.

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Jean Carlos Bettoni, Aike Anneliese Kretzschmar, Remi Bonnart, Ashley Shepherd and Gayle M. Volk

The availability of and easy access to diverse Vitis species are prerequisites for advances in breeding programs. Plant genebanks usually maintain collections of Vitis taxa as field collections that are vulnerable to biotic and abiotic stresses. Cryopreservation has been considered an ideal method of preserving these collections as safety back-ups in a cost-effective manner. We report a droplet vitrification method used to cryopreserve 12 Vitis species (Vitis vinifera cvs. Chardonnay and ‘Riesling, V. actinifolia, V. aestivalis, V. jacquemontii, V. flexuosa, V. palmata, V. riparia, V. rupestris, V. sylvestris, V. ficifolia, V. treleasi, and V. ×novae angeliae) using shoot tips excised from plants grown in vitro. Our results demonstrated wide applicability of this technique, with regrowth levels at least 43% for 13 genotypes representing 12 Vitis species. We demonstrated that the droplet vitrification procedure can be successfully replicated by technical staff, thus suggesting that this method is ready for implementation.