Assessing the germination and anatomy of traditional and controlled atmosphere stored seeds of Moringa oleifera Lam. (drumstick tree)
Seed ageing is one of the main problems responsible for low quality seed. There has been an increase in interest on Moringa oleifera because of its multiple uses as an agroforestry crop. In most undeveloped countries, seeds are still stored by traditional methods where the seeds are stored inside the fruit in special handmade structures. However, the knowledge on seed removed from the fruit for storage is also not completely known. This study investigates the effects of traditional and control atmosphere storage on the anatomy and germination of moringa seed. For the first experiment, freshly harvested, intact capsules of moringa were stored at ambient room temperature for 12, 24 and 36 months. For the second experiment, seed removed from freshly harvested fruit were subjected to a three factorial scheme with four temperatures (-19, 4, 20 and 30°C), three storage periods (6, 12 and 24 months) and two packaging types (paper and aluminum). For the seeds kept in intact capsules it was evident that the structure of some cells of 36-month-old seed had deteriorated. No sign of deterioration was found in seed from other treatments (traditionally stored and controlled atmosphere). The germination percentage of traditionally stored seed was similar to that of seed stored in controlled atmosphere up until 12 months of storage (±67%); except for seed stored in aluminum bags at 30°C that had a lower percentage (44%) at 12 months compared to other treatments. At 24 months the germination percentage of traditionally stored seed declined significantly, but was still higher than that of seed stored in aluminum bags at 30°C. Seed stored in paper bags at 20 and 30°C had high germination percentages (65-77%) for up to 24 months of storage.
Fotouo-M, H., du Toit, E.S. and Robbertse, P.J. (2018). Assessing the germination and anatomy of traditional and controlled atmosphere stored seeds of Moringa oleifera Lam. (drumstick tree). Acta Hortic. 1204, 49-56
traditionally stored, storage period, storage temperature, seed ultrastructure, aluminum bags, paper bags