highlight5 seeds

We started the process of variety improvement by purchasing seed of Zinnia ‘Thumbelina’ from many different suppliers and growing them out in our trial gardens. Most of the plants in these trials were very tall for a dwarf Zinnia. After deciding which supplier’s seed was closest to the correct height and flower type, we grew more plants for several years in our isolation tents. Each year, we rogued out plants that were over 12 inches in height, plants with incorrect flower types, and plants with an over-abundant color. Our aim was to reduce the height to a more appropriate level, make the flower types more consistent, and achieve a better balance of colors in the mix.

In a previous blog, we talked about open pollinated varieties and how important it is to maintain the plant and flower traits to keep the variety true to type. For this reason, we developed our Variety Improvement (VI) Program. Previously we highlighted our Zinnia ‘Sombrero’ which has been improved through our VI program. Today we discuss the variety improvement process for our Zinnia ‘Thumbelina’. This variety was developed by Bodger Seeds Ltd. (now defunct) and was an All American Selections winner in 1963. An old Bodger catalog describes it as a dwarf Zinnia having button-like, fully double to semi-double flowers with flat petals. The mix of colors includes pink, red, white, yellow, orange and scarlet.

Today, our Zinnia ‘Thumbelina’ is a dwarf variety with a better color balance and more true flower types. However, we plan to continue variety improvement work on it to make it more dwarf and improve the balance of colors in the mix. This VI program takes a great deal of time and cost on our part, but we feel committed to the program which will help to preserve some of the hundreds of older flower varieties that have been developed over the past decades by dedicated and talented plant breeders.

Seed production of annual weeds persisting through cropping phases replenishes/establishes viable seed banks from which these weeds will continue to interfere with crop production. Harvest weed seed control (HWSC) systems are now viewed as an effective means of interrupting this process by targeting mature weed seed, preventing seed bank inputs. However, the efficacy of these systems is directly related to the proportion of total seed production that the targeted weed species retains (seed retention) at crop maturity. This study determined the seed retention of the four dominant annual weeds of Australian cropping systems – annual ryegrass, wild radish, brome grass, and wild oat. Beginning at the first opportunity for wheat harvest and on a weekly basis for 28 d afterwards the proportion of total seed production retained above a 15 cm harvest cutting height was determined for these weed species present in wheat crops at nine locations across the Western Australian (WA) wheat-belt. Very high proportions of total seed production were retained at wheat crop maturity for annual ryegrass (85%), wild radish (99%), brome grass (77%), and wild oat (84%). Importantly, seed retention remained high for annual ryegrass and wild radish throughout the 28 d harvest period. At the end of this period, 63 and 79% of total seed production for annual ryegrass and wild radish respectively, was retained above harvest cutting height. However, seed retention for brome grass (41%) and wild oat (39%) was substantially lower after 28 d. High seed retention at crop maturity, as identified here, clearly indicates the potential for HWSC systems to reduce seed bank replenishment and diminish subsequent crop interference by the four most problematic species of Australian crops.

La producción de semilla de malezas anuales, que persisten a lo largo de las fases de la producción de cultivos, repone/establece bancos de semilla viables a partir de los cuales estas malezas continuarán interfiriendo con la producción de cultivos. El control de semillas de malezas mediante sistemas de cosecha (HWSC) es ahora visto como un medio efectivo para interrumpir este proceso al enfocarse en semillas maduras de malezas, previniendo la entrada de nuevas semillas en el banco de semillas. Sin embargo, la eficacia de estos sistemas está directamente relacionada a la proporción del total de semilla producida que la especie de maleza retiene (retención de semilla) al momento de la madurez del cultivo. Este estudio determinó la retención de semilla de cuatro malezas anuales dominantes en sistemas de cultivos Australianos – Lolium rigidum , Raphanus raphanistrum , Bromus spp., y Avena fatua . Empezando en la primera oportunidad de cosecha de trigo, y siguiendo intervalos semanales durante 28 d, se determinó la proporción del total de la semilla producida que fue retenida sobre 15 cm (altura de corte de la cosechadora) para estas especies de malezas presentes en campos de trigo, en nueve localidades a lo largo de la faja de trigo en el oeste de Australia (WA). Proporciones muy altas de la semilla total producida fue retenida al momento de la madurez del trigo para L. rigidum (85%), R. raphanistrum (99%), Bromus spp. (77%), y A. fatua (84%). Importantemente, la retención de semilla se mantuvo alta para L. rigidum y R. raphanistrum durante los 28 d del período de cosecha. Al final de este período, se retuvo 63 y 79% del total de la semilla producida de L. rigidum y R. raphanistrum , respectivamente, por encima de la altura de corte de cosecha. Sin embargo, la retención de semilla para Bromus spp. (41%) y A. fatua (39%) fue sustancialmente menor después de 28 d. Alta retención de semilla al momento de la madurez del cultivo, como se identificó aquí, claramente indica el potencial de los sistemas HWSC para reducir la recuperación del banco de semillas y disminuir así la interferencia con el cultivo de cuatro de las especies de enivos reponecciones ar el daño que persisten a lo largo de las fases de la producci de daño para hacer proyecciones ar el daño enmalezas más problemáticas en cultivos Australianos.

The Arab arts organization in Philadelphia, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, is hosting its first Arab Community Day in Penn Treaty Park on Saturday, hoping newer immigrants will come for free Arab food and stay for civic guidance. The family-friendly afternoon event will feature food, music, and crafts, as well as onsite COVID vaccinations by the Philadelphia Health Department. Representatives from the School District, the Department of Labor, and immigrant support agencies will offer information and advice.