Evaluation of growth, yield, seed quality and aflatoxin build-up in selected local and improved groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) varieties

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A field trial was conducted on a sandy loam soil at the research fields of the CSIR- Crops Research Institute, during the major season of 2011 to study the growth, yield and seed quality of ten groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) varieties, in a 3 × 10 randomized complete block design (RCBD). Following the field trial, samples of the ten groundnut varieties were dried and afterwards, germination, vigour and dormancy tests were carried out in the laboratory in four replicates of hundreds seeds per replicate. Samples of the seed were also stored in two storage receptacles: storage in jute bag and storage in jute bag interlaced with polyethylene, all at ambient conditions. Factors were studied in 2 × 2 × 10 factorial in completely randomized design (CRD). Pod and seed yields were generally higher for both improved and local varieties while germination rates were significantly (p<0.05) higher for fastigiata than the hypogaea. Other agronomic and yield attributes were generally influenced by varieties and differed significantly among and between the hypogaea and fastigiata sub-species. A further microbial examination revealed that the various seed samples were susceptible to various species of saprophytic and pathogenic fungi. Aflatoxin levels detected were generally not above the critical maximum though some varieties had aflatoxin levels well over 100% above recommended levels for acceptable groundnut seed.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Seed Science and Technology,