David M. Brenner, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, Jack Dekker, -, Ames, IA, Jarad Niemi, Dep. of Statistics, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA and Lisa Pfiffner, USDA-ARS, Plant Introduction Research Unit, Ames, IA
A new method is demonstrated for using concentrated oxygen to release seed dormancy. Concentrated oxygen in air is known to release seed dormancy of some seeds, including some foxtail (Setaria) species. New medical equipment makes oxygen easier to work with than before, so laboratories working with dormant seeds can now use concentrated oxygen as a seed treatment on a production basis. Use of medical oxygen concentrators is simpler and safer than using oxygen supplied by pressurized gas cylinders. Suitable medical oxygen concentrators in new or used condition are readily available, operate on standard electrical current, and deliver oxygen with low-pressure tubes and fittings. Re-sealable plastic bags are inflated with concentrated oxygen and sealed as seed treatment chambers. This use of concentrated oxygen is confirmed to significantly increase germination of dormant seeds of giant foxtail (Setaria faberi Herm) and plains bristle grass (S. macrostachya Kunth).