Influence of Two Tropical Plant Extracts on Germination and Seedling Growth of Groundnut (Arachis hypogeae) Seeds
Seedling growth is an important process in groundnut cultivation, and growth retardation constitutes one of the major problems. Seed health test was carried out on five local cultivars of groundnut collected from seed vendors at Ishiagu, Ebonyi State, Nigeria and the effect of two plant extracts; Solanum torvum and Heliotropium indicum as seed treatment on radicle length, plumule length, seed germination and seedling vigour was further investigated. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design (CRD) and replicated three times. The data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the means separated using Tukey at p ˂ 0.05. Visual inspection revealed that healthy seeds varied from 79% to 97% across the cultivars. Kafachan cultivar recorded highest (13%) discoloured number of seeds (21.0%), while Nwaevu cultivar had the least abnormal seeds. Aspergillus niger had the highest (47%) incidence, while Penicillium species had the least (2%). Extracts of S. torvum and H. indicum significantly (p ˂ 0.05) enhanced seedling growth across all concentration. However, extract of H. indicum was superior to that of S. torvum by increasing radicle length by 2.59cm, germination (90.19%) and vigour index (379.7) at concentration of 400ml. Extracts from S. torvum and H. indicum could therefore be used as a viable option for seed treatment and seedling growth stimulators.
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