Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2768

Full Length Research Paper

Pre-germination hydration affects seed performance in bambara groundnut

    Albert T. Modi
    School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 May 2013
  •  Published: 30 June 2013





In a study to determine the response of local bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) germplasm to seed enhancement, seeds were subjected to hydration (12, 75 and 93% RH) to influence pre-germination water activity (aw) and subsequent germination and seedling establishment. This study also reports on seedling characteristics 28 days after sowing under a controlled environment at 75% field capacity. There were highly significant (P < 0.01) differences between hydration treatments. The low RH resulted in aw ranging from 0.06, 1 h after suspension to 0.39, 72 h after suspension, whereas the 93% RH resulted in awranging from 0.2, 1 h after suspension to 0.68, 72 h later. Subjecting seeds to pre-germination hydration caused a significantly improved seed imbibition (P < 0.05) (up to 40%), germination (35%) (P < 0.05) and seedling establishment (P < 0.05) (as indicated by seedling size and utilization of seed storage tissue). It is concluded that the delay in seedling establishment due to lack of pre-germination hydration or low RH (12%) is linked to the observed collapse of seedling leaf stomata. Hence, the findings of this study have a bearing on drought tolerance.


Key words: Hydration, germination, seed, water activity.