Effect of priming regimes on seed germination of field crops
Germination, early emergence and stand establishment of crops are major yield determining factors in semi-arid and arid rainfed areas. Farmers in marginal and low input areas tend to have poor germination due to poor and shallow soils. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of priming regimes on seed germination of field crops. A study was conducted at Lupane State University, Biotechnology Laboratory in 2019. Treatments included seed priming techniques, namely hydropriming, halopriming (2% NaCl solution) osmopriming (10% PEG 6000), and solid matrix priming (18% volume/weight sand); and timing at 6, 12, 24 hours for maize and 2, 4, 6 hours for cowpea, sorghum and millet. Solid matrix priming, followed by hydropriming significantly (P<0.05) improved germination parameters (germination percentage, daily germination, peak value and germination speed) of all crops. Halopriming and osmopriming were similar in their ineffectiveness, and resulted in the least germination parameter values. Six hour solid matrix priming in 18% v/w sand was the most effective method among most crops; suggesting that solid matrix priming is an effective and possibly low cost technology, with potential to improve germination of field crops.
Key words: Seed hydration, semi-arid, solid matrix priming