Assessment of Seed Position as Index of Selection for Superior Seed Morphometric Attributes in Fluted Pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) Fruit

M A Adebisi


Pumpkin production in Nigeria is affected by non-availability of high quality seeds and information on seed position effect on seed morphometric parameters for judicious selections of seeds which is essential for pumpkin production. Matured fruits of ten pumpkin morphotypes were selected and then cut linearly at both ends of stigmatic scar and stalk joints. Seeds from anterior, middle and posterior positions were carefully removed from the fruits, cleaned using wood shavings and thereafter evaluated for five seed metric and five seed physiological parameters in a completely randomized design in three replicates. Data obtained were then subjected to statistical analysis using analysis of variance and significant means were separated using Tukey’s HSD test at 5% probability level. The results revealed significant differences in seed metric and physiological parameters of the 10 morphotypes and seed positions in the fruit. Seeds of Ogun, Isa-1 and Abia morphtypes were found to have significant highest seed weight, seed length, seed width and seed thickness than other morphotypes across the seed positions. Seeds at the posterior position in the fruit had highest seed weight, seed length, seed width and number of seeds than those at the anterior and middle portions. Seed weight, seed length, seed width and number of seeds from the posterior portion within fruit was 9-11, 4-7, 5-9 and 48-52 %, respectively superior than those obtained from the middle and posterior portions. Seeds from posterior portion had moderate to highest seed width and number of seeds in Isa-1 and Isa-2 morphotypes. With regards to seed physiological performance, Isa-1 had a consistent superior seedling emergence (69%), seedling vigour index (10.71), leaf length (4.13cm), vigorous vine length (15.51cm) and number of leaves (12). Seeds from the posterior of fruit were significantly superior in seedling emergence, seedling vigour, number of leaves, leaf length and vine length than those values obtained in seeds from anterior and middle portions. The superiority gain in seeds from posterior portion of pumpkin fruit across morphotypes was 10.7-11% in seedling emergence, 8-13 % in seedling vigour index, 12-14 % in number of leaves, 7-13 % in leaf length and 2-12 % in vine length than seeds from middle and anterior portions. Based on superior performance of seeds from the posterior position of pumpkin fruit, in terms of seed metric and physiological parameters, they are therefore recommended for use to obtain an enhanced emergence and growth performance in highly sought fluted pumpkin. Morphotypes Isa-1 and Isa-2 had outstanding performance in seed quality parameters and recommended for future seed improvement strategy.

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