A preliminary characterization study and assessment of the seed quality characteristics of solanum torvum swartz in four regions of Ghana

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Sixty (60) accessions of the Solanum toivum were collected from the middle zone of Ghana (Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern and Western regions). The objective was to conduct preliminary characterization and evaluation studies and also to assess the seed quality characteristics of the crop. A field experiment was thus set up on the research plot of the Department of Horticulture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology between April, 2002 and May, 2003. Data were collected on vegetative and reproductive characters, including height at flowering, number of primary branches, leaf blade length, leaf blade lobbing, plant spread at flowering, and the presence of leaf and stem prickles. Others were leaf blade colour, leaf blade tip angle, fruit colour at commercial and physiological ripeness, number of seeds per fruit,, and seed colour. Two (2) germination and vigour tests were also conducted and lastly, a seed health test was carried out. The results revealed significant differences in such characters as plant height, leaf blade lobbing, presence of leaf and stem prickles, fruit colour at physiological ripeness, number of seeds per fruit, and colour. The germination period was also significantly different among the accessions. ASMM 26 had the least germination period of 10 days while ASNK 37 and WRSB 26 had the largest germination period of 22 days. Seedling emergence was less than 35% in all the accessions. Some accessions, especially ERNB 30, registered a low a germination percentage of 1.75%. Refreshingly, the seed health examination showed virtually clean seeds in respect of seed borne fungi. Saprophytic fungi such as Aspergillus spp., Cladosporium spp. and Rhizopus spp. were however observed on some of the seeds on examination.
A thesis submitted to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science, 2004