Effect of seed storage under ambient and cold temperatures on germination of taro seed (Colocasia esculenta)
Fresh seed weights of taro (Colocasia esculenta) from wild type (WT) and cv. Bangkok plants of Papua New Guinea provenance declined significantly (P< 0.05) by 50% after 24 h fan assisted air drying to seed moisture of 10-12% dry weight. Mean germination of WT and Bangkok seeds declined from 90% and 51% at commencement to zero after 8 and 9 months dry storage (over silica gel) at ambient room temperature (RT, mean 27.2°C, 15.6% RH) respectively. Mean germination of WT seed stored over silica gel at 5°C (16% RH) and −20°C (16% RH) remained at 80-90% for the first 12 months and was 88% and 55% respectively after 25 months. Bangkok seed remained viable after 21 months' storage at 5°C and −20°C and 47% germinated after 24 months' storage at −20°C. Seed moisture content of WT seed was reduced to 7.3% after 7.5 months' storage in open packets over silica gel at −20°C and RT and mean germination was 63%; reducing seed moisture to 7.3% extended viability at RT to 81% after 22 months' storage. Some germinating seeds (1-5%) were colonized by Curvularia sp., Fusarium sp., Penicillium sp., and Rhizoctonia sp. but these did not inhibit germination and zero infection occurred following surface sterilization. Taro germplasm can be conserved as seed for at least two years at constant 5°C and −20°C when seed moisture content is reduced to 10-12% and at RT (21.5-34.4°C, mean 27.2°C) when seed moisture content is reduced to 7.3%.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2007
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