SEED DISINFECTION OF PEPPER (CAPSICUM ANNUUM L.) FROM ALTERNARIA NEES
At Research Institute for Vegetable Crops located in Pontecagnano (SA), different treatments to pepper seeds were compared in order to control serious infections caused by Alternaria alternata (Fr.) Keissl. and A. solani (Ell. et Mart.) Jones et Grout. The compared treatments included: untreated control; heat-treatments using different temperatures and exposure times; UV radiation (253.7 nm) exposure for different days; chemical compounds such as sodium hypochloride at different concentrations of active chlorine; fungicides such as Captan and Enovit-methyl. The observations regarded percentage of germinated seeds, germination average duration (germination index) and percentage of seeds infected by Alternaria at room temperature. With regard to heat-treatments, the best results were obtained with humid-heat at temperature of 50 °C (for 5 and 15 minutes) and 60 °C (for 1 minute). These conditions gave 90–100% of germinated seeds, 15 days of germination average duration and 20% of seeds infected by Alternaria. The seed exposure to UV rays for 4 days exhibited a germination of 90%, 16 days of germination average duration and 7% of infected seeds. Among all the compared chemical and fungicide compounds, the best results were obtained by using both 2.5% sodium hypochloride solution and Captan powder which gave 90% of germinating capability, 19–20 days of average duration of germination and no infected seeds.