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Aims: This study was carried out to evaluate the response of seeds and seedlings of Irvingia gabonensis to different lengths of storage at room temperature and pretreatments.
Study Design: Randomized Complete Block Design was used.
Place and Duration of Study: The experiment was carried out at the nursery of the Department of Forest Resources and Wildlife Management, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria.
Methods: Mature fruits of I. gabonensis were obtained from its area of natural range in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Depulped seeds were subjected to different lengths of storage and pretreatments. The different lengths of storage were Fresh, 7days, 14days, 21days and 28days represented as LS1, LS2, LS3, LS4 and LS5 respectively. Pretreatments were control, steeping in water at room temperature, soaking in hot water and scarification represented as PT1, PT2, PT3 and PT4 respectively.
Results: In LS1, germination began under PT1, PT2 and PT4 at 20, 19 and 21 Days after Sowing (DAS) respectively producing 90%, 100% and 100% germination respectively. Under LS2, seeds subjected to PT1, PT2 and PT4 germinated at 23, 24 and 23 DAS giving 90%, 90% and 80% germination respectively. At LS3, germination began in PT1, PT2 and PT4 at 26, 27 and 26 DAS producing 60%, 90% and 60% germination. However, seeds subjected to PT3 did not germinate throughout duration of experiment. Although, Analysis of Variance revealed significant difference at certain assessment period for seedling growth variables, there were no marked differences.
Conclusion: Seeds of Irvingia gabonensis can be successfully stored for up to four weeks at room temperature without a significant loss in viability although germination percentage would reduce with increasing length of storage. Soaking I. gabonensis seeds in water at room temperature can be adopted for pretreating its seeds prior to sowing although untreated seeds still produced good germination.
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