Assessment of Seedling Vigour Characteristics in Kenaf (Hibiscus Cannabinus L) Genotypes

T O Kehinde


Knowledge of extent of variation in seed quality characteristics is necessary to identify genotypes with superior seed quality performance. Information on seedling vigour traits in kenaf genotypes grown in Nigeria is limited. The study was conducted to determine the extent of variation in seedling vigour traits among 21 kenaf genotypes grown in Nigeria and to determine the relationship among some of the vigour traits. The seedling vigour traits assessment was conducted in the laboratory and the screen house of the Department of Plant Breeding and Seed Technology, Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State, Nigeria. Observations were made on seed germination rate, seed weight, seedling length, seedling vigour index, rate of seedling emergence, plant height, seedling fresh weight, seedling dry weight, seedling growth rate. The experiment was laid out in completely randomized design with three replicates. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance while significant means were separated using Tukey's Studentized Range (HSD) test at 5 % probability level. The data were also subjected to correlation and principal component analyses. Considerable variations were observed for all the laboratory and screen house seedling vigour traits suggesting that selection for further improvement in kenaf plant is possible due to large varietal differences present. Energy of germination, seed germination, 100 seed weight, seedling length, seedling vigour index, plant height, seedling fresh weight and number of leaves per plant contributed substantially to variation among the kenaf genotypes. These characters could be used as dependable selection criteria in kenaf improvement. Genotypes G45 23, G45 24 and Taining2 244 had the best seedling vigour traits compared to other genotypes. Significant and positive relationships were observed between seedling emergence and speed of germination and seedling vigour index whereas unexpectedly, seed germination had a weak and positive correlation with seedling emergence and seedling vigour. The three identified genotypes with best seedling vigour traits could be used as seed producing parents in seed improvement strategy in kenaf.

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