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1 April 2020 Biology of Brassica tournefortii in the northern grains region of Australia
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Brassica tournefortii Gouan. (wild turnip, WT) has become a problematic weed in the no-till production systems of the northern grains region of Australia. Experiments were undertaken using different biotypes of B. tournefortii to examine its phenology, emergence and seedbank persistence. Biotypes were obtained from paddocks of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) (WT1 and WT9) and chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) (WT1/17 and WT2/17). Fresh seeds initially had high dormancy rates and persisted for a short period on the surface. Seedbank persistence increased with burial depth, with 39% of seeds remaining for WT1 and 5% for WT9 after 30 months at 2 cm depth. Persistence of buried seeds varied across biotypes; WT1/17 seedlings also emerged in the second growing season from 2 cm depth. Compared with buried seeds, seedlings readily emerged from the surface (in March–June following increased rainfall) within 6 months of planting. Emergence was greatest on the surface and varied between biotypes and tillage systems; the highest rate recorded was ∼14%. Multiple cohorts were produced between February and October. No-till systems produced higher emergence rates than conventional tillage systems. Seedlings of B. tournefortii did not emerge from 5 cm soil depth; therefore, diligent tillage practices without seedbank replenishment could rapidly reduce the presence of this weed. A soil-moisture study revealed that at 25% of water-holding capacity, B. tournefortii tended to produce sufficient seeds for reinfestation in the field. Brassica tournefortii is a cross-pollinated species, and its wider emergence time and capacity to produce enough seeds in a dry environment enable it to become widespread in Australia. Early cohorts (March) tended to have vigorous growth and high reproduction potential. This study found B. tournefortii to be a poor competitor of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), having greater capacity to compete with the slow-growing crop chickpea. Therefore, control of early-season cohorts and use of rotations with a more vigorous crop such as wheat may reduce the seedbank. The information gained in this study will be important in developing better understanding of seed ecology of B. tournefortii for the purpose of developing integrated management strategies.

© CSIRO 2020
Gulshan Mahajan, Rajandeep Singh, and Bhagirath S. Chauhan "Biology of Brassica tournefortii in the northern grains region of Australia," Crop and Pasture Science 71(3), 268-277, (1 April 2020).
Received: 2 November 2019; Accepted: 24 December 2019; Published: 1 April 2020

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