Germination and seedling growth response of Aframomum melegueta K. Schum to different pre-treatments
An experiment was carried out to check the effect of pre-treatments on germination and early seedlings growth of Aframomum melegueta at the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management of University of Port Harcourt. The research seeks to investigate the effect of pre-germination treatment on seeds of A. melegueta. The treatments used were Hydrogen peroxide (10 minutes), Cold water (24 hours), Methylated spirit (10 minutes), warm sand at 45oC (30 minutes), Nicking and Control. The experimental design was the completely randomized design (CRD) while analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test the effect of treatments on seeds and seedlings of A. melegueta. Result from this study indicated that in nicked seeds germination started 11days after sowing while it was 14 days after sowing in hydrogen peroxide treated seeds. Germination duration was lowest in hydrogen peroxide treated seeds (28.67 days) and highest in seeds buried in warm sand (36.33 days) while germination percentage was lowest in nicked seeds (56%) and highest in seeds soaked in cold water (92.67%). Seedlings of A. melegueta subjected to different pre-treatments displayed significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) in all growth parameters at all stages of growth. Seedlings in warm sand exhibited the greatest seedling height, collar diameter and leaf number while seeds soaked in methylated spirit displayed lowest seedling height and leaf number; and seedlings treated with hydrogen peroxide had the lowest collar diameter. It was observed that seeds of these species did not exhibit dormancy. However, to enable optimum, rapid, uniform germination and good growth, it is recommended that the seeds of A. melegueta should be pre-treated before sowing.
Keywords: Aframamum melegueta, pre-treatment, germination, seedling growth