Microflora and Condition of Cereal Seeds after a Wet Harvest

Mills, J.T.; Wallace, H.A.H.

Canadian Journal of Plant Science 59(3): 645-651


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-4220
DOI: 10.4141/cjps79-102
Accession: 068494030

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The microflora and condition of cereal seed samples obtained from 21 swathed and 11 standing crops, 20 piles and 15 bins were determined during and after the excessively wet 1977 harvest season in Manitoba. Seed moisture contents and myxomycete levels declined and Penicillium and germination levels increased as the grain progressed from field to pile to bin. Prolonged wet field conditions permitted continued development of field fungi causing seed discoloration and, characteristically, development of plasmodial and reproductive phases of myxomycetes rarely seen on seeds harvested in dry harvest years. Ecological habitats favoring development of particular fungi were detected in a 6-wk-old sprouted barley pile. Samples from the south and west of the pile, warmed by the sun, had most Alternaria, very low Penicillium and low CO2 levels; north and east samples had highest levels of Aspergillus glaucus group species, and center samples had low Alternaria, high Penicillium, a trace of A. glaucus, higher seed moisture and lower germination.