Effect of seed maturity on germination and desiccation tolerance of Moringa oleifera seed
The effect of seed maturity on germinability and desiccation tolerance of seeds of Moringa oleifera was evaluated. The seeds were harvested at different stages of development to determine fresh and dry mass, moisture content, germination of fresh seeds and desiccation tolerance. Seed moisture content declined as the seeds developed from about 98% at 14 DAA to about 4% at 90 DAA, whereas fresh and dry mass increased to maximum level at 70 DAA, when the seed moisture content is about 70%. Therefore, the seeds attained mass maturity at 70 DAA. The onset of germinability of freshly collected seeds occurred at 65 DAA, i.e. 5 days before mass maturity. Full germination was achieved at 77 DAA; i.e., 7 days after mass maturity. No seeds could germinate before 65 DAA. Desiccation improved germination in all stages of development from 65 DAA onwards reaching maximum at mass maturity. Full germinability and desiccation tolerance was achieved by the seeds at 77 DAA at which time seed moisture content was about 65%. Seeds can be harvested at this stage of development and maximum quality can be gained by drying them over silica gel.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2009
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