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2019-119: Field evaluation of one catalytic seed treatment inducing multiple agronomic responses in forage crops. Optimization of a novel catalytic seed treatment inducing higher germination rates and nodulation in Cicer milkvetch cultivars.

Researcher: Karen Tanino

Funding: $30,000

Project Description:

Cicer milkvetch is difficult to establish in any areas of Saskatchewan. The seed is also comparatively expensive. However, once this crop has established, this non-bloat legume has demonstrated long term stand health. Previous research has indicated that soaking the seeds in a catalytic solution allows for much greater germination and root growth, with nodulation. This research will concentrate on cicer milkvetch to determine the best dose for these seeds, and then conduct field trials.


Instead of an inoculant, this work would use a catalytic seed treatment that could increase germination, especially under cool temperatures in spring while also increasing root and shoot growth.
Dr. Karen Tanino expanded her previous work on the catalytic seed treatment beyond germination in petri plates to work that also studied cicer milkvetch growth in a soilless media int he phytotron as well as in the field.

Oxley II seed was used in this process, in which the seed was soaked at several doses under a cooler temperature (10°C) and a warmer temperature (23°C). The most optimal doses were then evaluated in the College of Agriculture's phytotron at the University of Saskatchewan at the same temperatures. Finally, the field trial started with the best results from the previous studies.

The researchers found that the catalytic seed treatment was notable at 23°C, but not effective at 10°C. Root growth and nodulation was significantly increased at the 1200% dose under lab and phytotron conditions, but it didn't translate into the field study. There were also significant differences based on the year.

The research team plants to develop a field soil system in pots under a controlled environment to better understand the significance of these differences. They then hope to plan the treated Cicer milkvetch seed into fields in with black soil, evaluate fertility needs, and note the interaction with inoculated for enhanced nodulation.

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