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Effects of different scarification methods on germination of Ziziphus spina-christi seeds

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Trees are very important for local people in many rural areas of Africa. Ziziphus spina-christi (L.) Willd. is a multipurpose fruit tree species indigenous to Sudan. It is generally propagated by seeds which are slow to germinate and total germination percentage is low. Germination in related species was improved by either mechanical or acid scarification. Whether such methods are also effective in Z. spina-christi is, however, unknown. This study explored two mechanical methods (hilum abrasion using sand paper and cracking of the seedcoat) and three acid scarification treatments by the immersion of seeds in sulphuric acid (97%) for 30, 60 and 120 minutes. Emergence percentage was highest after immersing seeds in acid for 120 minutes, but was not significantly different from others scarification treatments, with the exception of the 30 minutes acid treatment. Mechanical and acid scarification, with the exception of the 30 minutes acid treatment, decreased days to first emergence (E1st ) by 2-4 days, days to 50% emergence (E50 ) by 12-10 days, and mean days to emergence (MDG) by 2-4 days. Cracking of the seedcoat resulted in lowest E1st , E50 and MDG. All treatments significantly increased total seedling fresh weight but not dry matter.
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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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