Original Articles

Germination of fresh seed of thirty Cenchrus ciliaris ecotypes as influenced by seed treatment

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1992.9648322
Author(s): P.S. VenterDivision of Grassland Science, Department of Plant Production, Republic of South Africa, N.F.G. RethmanDivision of Grassland Science, Department of Plant Production, Republic of South Africa


Germination tests were carried out with fresh seed of 30 ecotypes of Cenchrus ciliaris produced under uniform conditions. Untreated seeds were compared with washed and shelled seeds. The percentage germination of untreated seed varied between 0% and 48%, with an average of 16.20%. In comparison with this, the percentage germination of washed seed varied between 0% and 33%, with an average of 13.13%, and that of shelled seed varied between 10% and 81%, with an average of 46.10%. This confirms that there are substances present in the structures surrounding the caryopsis of certain ecotypes which inhibit germination. According to this, the washing treatment, which is recommended by the International Seed Testing Association, appears to have a slight depressing, or no, effect on the germination of fresh seed. However, distinct differences between ecotypes, for untreated as well as shelled seed, were found. For 19 of the ecotypes there was a highly significant better germination when the seed was shelled. A further four ecotypes showed a noticeable difference, although not significant, and for seven ecotypes shelling had no effect.

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