Abuja Journal of Agriculture and Environment (AJAE)

EFFECT OF SEED PRIMING ON THE GERMINATION AND EARLY SEEDLING GROWTH OF BUTTER SQUASH (CUCURBITA MOSCHATA L.) IN KEFFI, NASARAWA STATE, NIGERIA
Author(s): Ubazi C. C., Yusuf H. O., Asala W. S., Abdulkarim B. M., Umar Y. I. and Abolaji M. O.
Volume/Issue: Volume 1 , Issue 1 (2021)

ABSTRACT:

The effects of seed priming on Butter squash (Cucurbita moschata) seed germination and early seedling performance was investigated via a laboratory emergence test. The experiment was conducted at the department of Plant Science and Biotechnology Laboratory, Nasarawa State University, Keffi. Thirty six (36) Butter squash seeds were primed in 500ml of two priming agents (3% KNO3 and Distilled Water) for two different priming durations (12hours and 24hours) and another set of thirty six (36) unprimed seeds were used as control treatment, making a total of five (5) experimental units. The treatments were replicated three (3) times. The data collected were percentage germination, shoot length and root length. Results from the experiment indicated that there was significant difference between treatments and the control and within the treatments at p≤0.05. Priming with distilled water (DH2O) at both 12 and 24 hours was most effective for germination. Priming with 3%KNO3 at 12 and 24 hours were the most effective for shoot and root length. The increase in germination percentage observed in seeds primed with water can confer a huge advantage on butter squash seedlings over competing weed-pest species in the field during early crop development. Hydro-priming of seeds of this crop can also serve as an important biological and crop management approach to check over reliance on synthetic herbicides for the control weeds. In addition, seed priming, when adopted can considerably minimize the need for early fertilizer application thereby reducing the huge financial costs of fertilizer applications for Butter squash farmers.

KEYWORDS:

Butter squash, priming-agent, priming-duration, percentage germination.