Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Effect of seed protein content on plant growth of barley and wheat Public Deposited

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  • The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of seed protein content on plant growth of barley (Hordeum vulgare L. ) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L. ). The effects of nitrogen application on chemical and morphological characteristics of the seed were also studied. Seeds of 'Casbon' winter barley and 'Nugaines' winter wheat with different protein content were obtained by field applications of various amounts of nitrogen at seeding time (fall) and tillering time (spring). The increase in protein content from high nitrogen rates was accompanied by a decrease in seed size and yield. The protein increase occurred primarily in the endosperm. Neither protein content nor size of the embryo was affected by rates of nitrogen application. The effect of seed protein content on plant growth was evaluated in terms of inhibition and respiration, speed of germination and subsequent seedling growth, root and shoot elongation at 15, 20 and 25C, and dry matter production when grown in low and high nitrogen soils in the green house. A positive relationship was found between seed protein content and plant performance. The rates of water absorption and oxygen consumption of germinating barley and wheat seed increased as a result of high protein content. High protein seed had a faster speed of germination and developed into larger seedlings with a higher dry matter content when grown in nitrogen-deficient soil. In nitrogen-enriched soil, seed protein content had little effect on seedling growth. The beneficial effects of seed protein content are more clearly expressed under stress conditions and are more evident when plant growth depends on the nutrients available from the seed. During initiation of germination, temperature influences the expression of the protein effect. After the seedling has formed and is capable of photosynthesis, the nitrogen availability in the soil influences the effect of seed protein content on plant growth. The relationship between seed protein content and plant growth can be an important factor in crop production because the increase in protein can be controlled by field application of nitrogen. However, since the high rates of nitrogen necessary to produce high seed protein levels are not consistent with the optimum nitrogen rates for yield, growers would probably be reluctant to apply such high rates unless some type of incentive were given them to do so. For seed production, it could still be important to strive for high protein levels in spite of some loss in yield if improved performance from high protein seeds proves to be of economic value. The results of this study indicate that producing and planting seeds rich in protein may be an effective method of achieving faster stand establishment of cereal crops. Additional research will determine the effects of high protein on yield.
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