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Effect of maturity stages of winter- and spring-sown chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) on germination and vigour of the harvested seeds

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The effects of two sowing dates (winter and spring) and five seed maturity stages on the germination and the vigour of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) seeds were determined. In 2003 and 2004, seeds of chickpea cultivar "Jubiha-2" were planted in late December (winter-sown) and early March (spring-sown) and plants were harvested at five pod maturity stages: 1) beginning of seed fill (BS), 2) full-size seed (FS), 3) greenish-yellow pod (GY), 4) physiological maturity; yellow pod (Y), and 5) harvest maturity; brown pod (B). Seed standard germination, vigour (as estimated by accelerated ageing, cold test, and electrical conductivity of seed leachates), and seedling dry weight were measured for the harvested seeds. Maximum standard germination and seedling dry weight was attained when seeds were harvested at the B stage. In both growing seasons, maximum germination after accelerated ageing was attained when seeds were harvested at the Y and B stages for the winter-sowing date and at the B stage for the spring-sowing date. Maximum germination after the cold test was attained at the Y and B stages in 2003 and at the B stage in 2004. In both growing seasons and for both sowing dates, minimum electrical conductivity of seed leachate was attained at the Y and B stages. The results of all quality tests suggested that standard germination, seedling dry weight and accelerated ageing was the best tests to assess seed quality of chickpea harvested at later seed maturity stages. Sowing date had no effect on the quality of the seeds harvested at the B stage except for a reduction in standard germination in 2003. In conclusion, seeds of winter- and spring-sown chickpea should be harvested at the B stage to ensure maximum germination and vigour.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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