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Agronomy 2012, 2(3), 222-239; doi:10.3390/agronomy2030222

Understanding Lolium rigidum Seeds: The Key to Managing a Problem Weed?

1
Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, School of Plant Biology (M086), The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
2
School of Pharmacy and Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 July 2012 / Revised: 31 August 2012 / Accepted: 14 September 2012 / Published: 24 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weed Management and Herbicide Resistance)
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Abstract

The 40 million hectare southern Australian winter cropping region suffers from widespread infestation by Lolium rigidum (commonly known as annual or rigid ryegrass), a Mediterranean species initially introduced as a pasture plant. Along with its high competitiveness within crops, rapid adaptability and widespread resistance to herbicides, the dormancy of its seeds means that L. rigidum is the primary weed in southern Australian agriculture. With the individuals within a L. rigidum population exhibiting varying levels of seed dormancy, germination can be staggered across the crop-growing season, making complete weed removal virtually impossible, and ensuring that the weed seed bank is constantly replenished. By understanding the processes involved in induction and release of dormancy in L. rigidum seeds, it may be possible to develop strategies to more effectively manage this pest without further stretching herbicide resources. This review examines L. rigidum seed dormancy and germination from a weed-management perspective and explains how the seed bank can be depleted by control strategies encompassing all stages in the lifecycle of a seed, from development to germination.
Keywords: after-ripening; dormancy; emergence; Lolium; longevity; no-till farming; persistence; ryegrass; seed; weed management after-ripening; dormancy; emergence; Lolium; longevity; no-till farming; persistence; ryegrass; seed; weed management
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Goggin, D.E.; Powles, S.B.; Steadman, K.J. Understanding Lolium rigidum Seeds: The Key to Managing a Problem Weed? Agronomy 2012, 2, 222-239.

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