Temperature effect on seed germination and seedling growth of Moringa oleifera Lam.
High germination percentages and rates, with relatively good uniformity, are important factors for successful commercial seedling production. Moringa oleifera seeds were planted into seedling trays and placed into three temperature-controlled greenhouses with fluctuating night/day temperature regimes namely; 10/20°C, 15/25°C and 20/30°C. Seedling trays were monitored daily over a period of 40 days, to record differences in germination percentage, rate and uniformity, and seedling growth. Seed at the high 20/30°C temperature regime (TR) exhibited a significantly (P ≤ 0.05) higher germination, rate and uniformity of germination, compared to the two lower temperature regimes (TRs). The germination of 74% for the 20/30°C TR was the lowest, and differed significantly from the 88% germination for the 10/20°C TR. Viability testing of un-germinated seed revealed that although germination percentages increased with the decrease in TR, this was not as a result of uneven seed viability. The higher 20/30°C TR also favoured seedling growth, as growth increased exponentially with an increase in temperature. Among the three TRs studied during this trial, the 20/30°C TR was found to be most favourable for both germination and seedling growth.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2011
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