Impact of seed pelleting on germination potential, seedling growth and storage of tomato seed

T. Javed, I. Afzal
Seed pelleting facilitates plantability of small seeds in the field by increasing the seed size and provides improved water uptake, oxygen permeability, vigour and protection against diseases (seed and soil borne). Due to high cost of tomato seeds, farmers cannot afford economic losses by placing more seeds per planting site in the field. Imported pelleted tomato seeds are also not within their economic limits, resulting in severe competition among tomato plants and ultimately reduction in final yield. An experiment was conducted to improve the plantability and emergence potential of tomato seeds (Roma VF) through optimizing different local low-cost pelleting materials. For this purpose, seeds were pelleted with different combinations of bentonite, China powder, rhizobia, calcium oxide (CaO) and talcum. The results indicate that pelleting had significantly improved emergence potential in terms of final emergence percentage, emergence index and germination energy of tomato seeds, however, the highest value for final emergence (23% more as compared to control) was achieved with combinations of talcum:CaO:talcum:bentonite. Furthermore, seedling length was also improved in pelleted seeds with high vigour, as compared to non-pelleted seeds. The highest values for seedling length was achieved with talcum:CaO:talcum:bentonite. This treatment proved to be the most effective pelleting combination for tomato seeds, requiring less time for imbibition. Storage of pelleted tomato seeds for five months under laboratory conditions also provides better protection against environmental stresses as compared to non-pelleted seeds by providing mechanical support, hence improving storability of tomato seeds. The improved performance of pelleted tomato seeds was associated with improved activity of pelleting material and decreased permeability of cell membrane, hence less leakage of cellular contents during storage.
Javed, T. and Afzal, I. (2020). Impact of seed pelleting on germination potential, seedling growth and storage of tomato seed. Acta Hortic. 1273, 417-424
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1273.54
seed pelleting, plantability, stand establishment, storage

Acta Horticulturae