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A Method for Inducing Dormancy in Wild Oats (Avena fatua L.)

  • J. R. Hay (a1) and B. G. Cumming (a2)


The wild oat (Avena fatua L.) is considered to have spread originally from Asia; it is widely distributed throughout Europe and its advent in North America is attributed to introduction by immigrants from there (8, 13). The species presents a very serious weed problem in the prairie regions of Canada and northwestern United States (18). In Britain it has become prevalent in some regions as a result of intensive cropping to cereals (17). Up to 70 bushels of wild oat seeds per acre have been estimated to occur in the soil in badly infested fields in western Canada (12). This seed cannot all be stimulated to germinate by cultural practices and may remain viable in the soil for at least 3 years (4). The wild oat problem would be solved if the seed in the soil could be destroyed. There are two ways to achieve this: firstly, by stimulating the dormant seed to germinate so that the plants can be killed by cultivation or, secondly, by killing the dormant seed through the addition of toxic materials. Up to the present, attempts to do either of these have been unsuccessful; thus, investigations to determine the factors involved in dormancy are of primary importance.



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