Seed extraction and drying methods are important procedures employed after harvesting fruits of African eggplant as these methods affect the seed quality. This study sought to evaluate the seed physiological quality of two cultivars of African eggplant subjected to various durations of natural fermentation and different drying methods. In the first study, fruits were fermented for 0, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h before seed extraction. In the second experiment, seeds were extracted and subjected to sun/24 h; shade/24 h; shade/48 h; desiccant (silica gel)/24 h; shade/24 h + 30 °C oven (24 h); 30°C/24 h; 35 °C/24 h; 45 °C/24 h; 50°C/24 h and 60°C/24 h for drying. The seed quality evaluation were seed moisture content, seed dry weight, first count, seed germination and accelerated aging. The results suggest that African eggplant seeds do not require natural fermentation during extraction for enhanced seed germination. All drying methods were able to reduce seed moisture content to an ideal level for storage and maintained seed physiological quality. The latent effect of these methods on seed physiological quality needs to be studied.
Key words: Solanum aethiopicum, drying, fermentation, seed quality, seed extraction.
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