Development of methods for breaking seed dormancy in eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides, L.) could increase its use. Solid matrix priming, the controlled hydration of seed in a system of solid carrier and water, has been used with some success to enhance germination in warm-season grasses. gibberellic acid (ga3), a known promoter of eastern gamagrass germination, can be added to solid matrix priming systems. In this study, systems were evaluated for conditioning eastern gamagrass seeds using the solid carriers Agro-Lig, MicroCel E, and Vermiculite #5. GA3 was added in 0.01 M concentration solutions to systems with water potentials of −0.4 and −0.6 MPa in Agro-Lig and −0.2 and −0.4 in MicroCel E and Vermiculite #5 and compared with systems with deionized water. Priming seed with GA3 increased germination to 18% compared with 13% without GA3. MicroCel E and Vermiculite #5 were suitable materials for controlled hydration of eastern gamagrass seed. Germination was only 11% in Agro-Lig compared with 16%–19% for MicroCel E and Vermiculite #5. Priming with GA3 does not appear to be as successful at breaking seed dormancy as cold, wet stratification.
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Vol. 57 • No. 6