Herbicide resistance is an increasing issue in many weed species, including rigid ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaudin); a major weed of winter cropping systems in southern Australia. Recently, this weed has also been found in summer crops in the southeastern region of Australia. Effective control of this herbicide-resistant weed across southeastern Australia requires alternative management strategies. These strategies can be informed by analyses on the interaction of germinable seeds with their regional environments and by identifying the differences between populations of varying herbicide-resistance levels. In this study, we explore how various environmental factors differentially affect the seed germination and seedling emergence of three L. rigidum populations, including one glyphosate-resistant population (GR), one glyphosate-susceptible population (GS), and one population of unknown resistance status (CC04). Germination was greater than 90% for all populations at each temperature regime, except 15/5 C. Populations germinated at a lower rate under 15/5 C, ranging from 74% to 87% germination. Salt stress had a similar effect on the germination of all populations, with 0% germination occurring at 250 mM salt stress. Population GS had greater tolerance to osmotic stress, with 65% germination at –0.4 MPa compared with 47% and 43% germination for CC04 and GR, respectively; however, germination was inhibited at –0.8 and –1.6 MPa for all populations. All populations had lower germination when placed in complete darkness as opposed to alternating light/dark. Germination in darkness was lower for CC04 (69%) than GR (83%) and GS (83%). Seedling emergence declined with increasing burial depth with the lowest emergence occuring at 8 cm (37%) when averaged over the populations. These results indicate that L. rigidum can survive under a range of environmental variables and that the extent of survival differs based on population; however, there was no difference based on herbicide-resistance status.
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Vol. 69 • No. 4