Two nutrients, zinc and manganese, were chosen for more detailed study because deficiencies of these nutrients are widespread in South Australia.High levels of Zn and Mn in seed greatly improved crop growth especially in Zn and Mn deficient soils, in fact, seed high in Mn was more effective than Mn fertiliser in improving early growth and grain yield.
A series of experiments were conducted to investigate aspects of seed quality.
A range of bread wheat genotypes important in South Australia were used for laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments. A preliminary set of field trials involving seed from eight different sources of each of eleven genotypes were evaluated at eight wheat growing locations in South Australia for two years.
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It is concluded that sound healthy seed does vary in quality and this affects seedling vigour, crop establishment and grain yield.
Seed source can affect genotype performance in evaluation trials.Seeds from the outer florets of the middle spikelets of heads similarly had better quality than seeds from other positions.Wheat cultivar Machete accumulated more nutrients than other genotypes tested.There were genotypic differences for both seed and embryo size but the two were not related.It should be possible for breeders to select for embryo size independent of seed size.These seed source effects and interactions with genotype were more evident during early growth stages.Fanners appreciate the importance of sowing plump seed free of weather damage and disease but they have little knowledge of the physiological quality of that seed.These results suggest that farmers would do well to manage their seed crops differently than grain crops especially by attempting to increase the levels of trace elements in the seed.The distribution of mineral nutrients within seed was examined in both high and low Zn content seeds of two genotypes and the remobilisation of nutrients was followed over the first twelve days after germination.This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exception.A field experiment was conducted during rabi seasons of 2001--03 under farmers’ participatory research approach at village Khera Murar of Bawal block in district Rewari (Haryana).