Effect of different priming concentrations on germination and seedling performance of age-accelerated seeds of three Okra (Abelmoschus Esculentus L) varieties.

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September, 2015
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Okra Abelmoschus esculentus L., is an economically important vegetable crop grown in the tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world. Okra farmers in Ghana face a major problem of seeds not promptly germinating after planting or the seeds not germinating at all. This has led to the famers doubling the seed rate per hectare. This experiment was set out to find out how three Ghanaian okra varieties; CRI-K-P11-11, Asontem and Manpeali responded to organic and inorganic priming agents after 72 hours of accelerated seed ageing at 450C and 98% relative humidity and to determine the best variety and primer concentration. Results from the study showed that, the interaction between CRI-K-P11-11 and Ascorbic acid at 150ppm concentration recorded the highest germination percentage (68.0%) and speed of germination (18.67) with the highest seed vigour index (8235) recorded for the interaction between CRI-K-P11-11 and KCl 0.4%. The varietal means differed highly significantly (P<0.01) with CRI-K-P11-11 recording the highest germination percentage (49.61%), speed of germination (13.78) and seed vigour index (6043). Asontem recorded relatively low scores in germination percentage (15.89%) and seed vigour index (1571) with the least speed of germination recorded by Manpeali (4.614). There were highly significant differences (P<0.01) in the seed primer concentrations used in the study. Ascorbic acid 150ppm recorded the highest primer mean in germination percentage (39.33%), speed of germination (10.14) and seed vigour index (4345). Moringa oleifera leaf extract 1:15 was the best performing organic seed primer in germination percentage (33.78%), speed of germination (8.41) and seed vigour index (3822). Accelerated ageing had deleterious effect on okra seeds. CRI-K-P11-11 was the most vigorous variety. Ascorbic acid 150ppm was the best performing seed primer.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Seed Science and Technology,