Flax-leaf alyssum (Alyssum linifolium Steph. ex. Willd.) is a winter growing annual weed species widely distributed in many semi-arid cropping regions of Iran, especially in the Khorasan Razavi and East Azerbaijan provinces. The germination of two populations (one each from Khorasan Razavi and East Azerbaijan) of this weed was evaluated under different experimental conditions. Seeds of A. linifolium germinated over a wide range of day/night temperature regimes, with the highest germination percentage observed with a regimen of 20°C/10°C. Light was not required for germination for either population, and >70% seeds germinated under all photoperiods tested. Germination was affected by pH levels; seeds germinated over the pH range 4–9 and germination was maximum at pH 7. For the Khorasan Razavi and East Azerbaijan populations, ≥50% of seeds germinated at a water potential of –0.69 and –0.78 MPa and salinity of 12.64 and 11.7 dS m–1 respectively. Maximum seedling emergence occurred when seeds were slightly covered with soil, but emergence decreased with increasing depth of soil cover, with no emergence at depths >3 cm. These results indicate that A. linifolium germinates in a wide range of climatic conditions and could invade into new regions. Burying the seeds through tillage may reduce their emergence.
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Vol. 70 • No. 9