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Optimizing Germination of Melia volkensii Gürke after Storage of Seeds and Nuts in Different Storage Conditions

Author(s): Njehu JM, Wabuyele Emily, Mutune AN, Kevin Omollo, Kamondo BM

This study was conducted to understand the effect of nature of seed (nut or seed), storage conditions and storage time on the germination of Melia volkensii seeds. Two seed lots were stored for germination tests after storage of germination materials for 2, 4 and 6 months. Laboratory experimental setup involved three treatments: 1) some seeds were extracted while others were stored as nuts, 2) Storing the seeds in open and closed containers and 3) storage of the seeds in ambient temperature at 30 °C and cold storage at -20 °C. It was observed that the rate of germination and germination capacity of M. volkensii seeds increased with extension of storage time. Germination percen-tages were analyzed using R and SAS statistical software. Significance of variation for each month was tested using ANOVA at P≤ 0.05, and means were separated using fisher’s protected least significant difference test. Seed germination after 6 months of storage greatly improved for all storage treatments. The scientific procedure in the present study improved germination from 14 % when seeds were stored for 2 months in open containers at room temperature to 89% when nuts were stored in open containers in room temperature for 6 months. This study is vital in understanding seed storage behavior which is essential in planning and carrying out planting programmes; consequently, enhancing sus-tainable utilization of M. volkensii. Findings on appro-priate storage of nuts and seeds of M. volkensii will help develop a guideline on establishing a seed stock to ensure seed supply at all times even in times of irregular fruiting.

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