Using a Taguchi DOE to investigate factors and interactions affecting germination in Miscanthus sinensis

Danny Awty-Carroll, Sreenivas Ravella, John Clifton-Brown, Paul Robson

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The Miscanthus genus of perennial grasses is grown for bioenergy and biorenewable feedstocks. Most Miscanthus crop is M × giganteus which is rhizome propagated and therefore difficult to multiply at large scale. Seed-based propagation of new hybrids is being developed, but Miscanthus is difficult to establish from seed especially in the field. Miscanthus is often grown on marginal land adding to the challenge of successfully establishing the crop. Improved understanding of the limits and biology of germination in Miscanthus species is needed. Seed germination is affected by physical and chemical factors that impact germination differently depending on level of exposure. In this investigation of Miscanthus germination, four hormones plus water stress were investigated and the range over which these factors affect germination was determined. An efficient Taguchi experimental design was used to assess the five factors in combination with the effects of light and seed priming. This determined an example of a set of optimum conditions for Miscanthus germination and demonstrated how this could change based on fixing one condition. The experiment showed how environmental stress impacted germination and how treatments such as gibberellic acid could be used to mitigate stress.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1602
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2020


  • Germination/physiology
  • Poaceae/physiology
  • Rhizome/physiology
  • Seeds/physiology
  • Stress, Physiological/physiology


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