Evaluation of Split Seeds of Telfairia occidentalis Hook. F. for Propagation
An experiment to determine the possible limits of sectioning the seeds of Telfairia occidentalis for the regeneration of propagules for propagation was conducted from May to December, 2001. This work also assessed the germination potentials of the seeds and assessed the growth rate of the seedlings from these sections and their subsequent developments. Whole, half, quartered and one-eighth seeds were nursed in sawdust-filled polythene bags and the seedlings were later transplanted to prepared ridges at 4WAS. The seedlings growth and development were monitored for 27 weeks. There were significant differences in the seedling emergence, vine length, number of leaves and marketable yield between the seed sections. Plant stand did not show any difference. Significant difference was observed between the whole seed and the quartered and one-eighth seeds in the girth at maturity, but significant difference was not observed between the quartered and one-eighth seeds for the period of observation. This study has indicated significant reduction in seed requirement of Telfairia occidentalis for planting a unit area from 100% for whole seed to 50% for halved seed, 25% for quartered seeds and 12% for 1/8 seeds. A potential marketable yield estimated from the marketable yield, using the value of whole seeds as an index showed that half, quartered and one-eighth seeds had the potential of outyielding whole seeds by values of 86%, 172% and 432%, respectively. Further investigation in improving the growth and development of split seeds was discussed.
Keywords: Telfairia occidentalis, fluted pumpkin, split seeds, seed section, propagation.
Discovery and Innovation Vol. 19 (3) 2007: pp. 182-187