Monday, November 13, 2006

Effect of Maturity Stages for Winter- and Spring-Sown Chickpeas on Germination and Vigor of the Harvested Seeds.

Nezar Samarah, Jordan Univ of Science & Technology, P.O Box 3030, Irbid, 22110, Jordan and Anas Abu-Yahya, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Production, P.O. Box 3030, Irbid, Jordan.

Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is the second most important food legume after lentil in Jordan. Little information is available about the effect of planting date and seed maturity on seed germination and vigor of chickpea. Two-year field experiments were conducted at Maru Experimental Station (a semiarid Mediterranean region), Northern Jordan, to study the effect of two planting dates (winter and spring) and five maturity stages of chickpea cultivar “Jubiha-2” on the germination and vigor of the harvested seeds. In the two growing seasons 2003/2004 and 2004/2005, chickpea seeds were planted on late December (winter-sown) and early March (spring-sown) and harvested at five pod maturity stages: 1) beginning seed fill (BS), 2) full-size seed (FS), 3) greenish-yellow pod (GY), 4) yellow pod (Y), and 5) brown pod (B). Seed standard germination test (SG) and vigor tests as estimated by the accelerated aging (AA), electrical conductivity (EC), seedling dry weight (SDW), and cold test, were measured for the harvested seeds. Seeds attained maximum standard germination when seeds were harvested at the B stage. Maximum germination after cold test and minimum electrical conductivity of seed leachates were attained when seeds were harvested at the GY in 2003/2004 and at the Y stages in 2004/2005 growing season. Maximum germination after accelerated aging test and maximum seedling dry weight was attained when seeds were harvested at the B stage. Seeds harvested at the Y stage from winter-sown plants had higher AA and SDW than those seeds from spring-sown plants. Seeds harvested at the B stages did not differ in seed quality between planting dates. These results suggest the standard germination, the seedling dry weight, and the accelerated aging were the best tests to assess seed quality in chickpea.