Effect of seed maturity, seed moisture and various pre-treatments on seed germination of annatto (Bixa orellana L.)
Influence of seed maturity, moisture content and various pre-treatments on germination of Bixa orellana L. was investigated. Seed maturation studies indicated that capsules harvested at 110th day after anthesis possessed the highest dry weight with 60.9% moisture recording 96.3% germination. Development of hard seed coat was observed due to reduction in seed moisture content leading to poor germination. Seeds having 28.6 and 21.6% moisture content resulted in 95 and 64% germination respectively, suggesting that critical moisture content for optimum germination lies in the range of 22-28%. Further, seeds having less than 12% moisture recorded below 6% germination. Half dry capsules could be stored upto 40 days at 4°C without significant reduction in germination. Among the pre-treatments to improve seed germination, clipping the seed coat at the distal end of the seed was the most effective and could overcome the dormancy completely. Seeds of four accessions stored for one year at ambient conditions recorded above 76-90% germination after seed coat clipping, which showed that the dry seeds could be stored for more than a year. The chemical scarification methods could improve germination of dry seeds to some extent but resulted in higher numbers of abnormal seedlings and dead seeds.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2005
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