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Fluridone: a combination germination stimulant and herbicide for problem fields?

Authors

  • Danica E Goggin,

    Corresponding author
    1. Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia
    • Correspondence to: Danica E Goggin, Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, School of Plant Biology (M086), University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley 6009, Australia. E-mail: danica.goggin@uwa.edu.au

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  • Stephen B Powles

    1. Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia
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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Problem weeds in agriculture, such as Lolium rigidum Gaud., owe some of their success to their large and dormant seed banks, which permit germination throughout a crop-growing season. Dormant weed seed banks could be greatly depleted by application of a chemical that stimulates early-season germination and then kills the young seedlings. Fluridone, a phytoene desaturase-inhibiting herbicide that can also break seed dormancy, was assessed for its efficacy in this regard.

RESULTS

The germination of fluridone-treated Lolium rigidum seeds was stimulated on soils with low organic matter, and almost 100% seedling mortality was observed, while the treatment was only moderately effective on a high-organic-matter potting mix. Seedlings from wheat, canola, common bean and chickpea seeds sown on fluridone-treated sandy loam were bleached and did not survive, but lupins and field peas grew normally.

CONCLUSION

This proof-of-concept study with fluridone suggests that it may be possible to design safe and effective molecules that act as germination stimulants plus herbicides in a range of crop and soil types: a potentially novel way of utilising herbicides to stimulate seed bank germination and a valuable addition to an integrated weed management system. [[ArtCopyrightmsg]]

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