Table of Contents
ISRN Botany
Volume 2013, Article ID 582581, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/582581
Research Article

Factors Affecting Seedling Emergence and Dry Matter Characteristics in Musa balbisiana Colla

1Department of Applied & Environmental Biology, Rivers State University of Science & Technology, PMB 5080, Port Harcourt 500001, Nigeria
2Embrapa Agroenergia, PqEB-Final W3 Norte, Asa Norte, 7077091 Brasilia, DF, Brazil

Received 27 June 2013; Accepted 18 July 2013

Academic Editors: F. A. Culianez-Macia and N. Rajakaruna

Copyright © 2013 A. B. Nwauzoma and K. Moses. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The effects of storage duration (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 days), sterilization with sodium hypochlorite (0, 5, 10, 15, and 20%), and weaning media on seedling characteristics and dry matter content in Musa balbisiana seedlings were studied. The experiment was factorial in a completely randomized design with five replicates. The result indicates that increase in NaOCl concentration and number of days in storage significantly increased the period of seedling emergence. Also, soaking in NaOCl for 20 min had significant effect on average seedling emergence at 15 and 20% concentrations, compared to 10 min soaking at the same concentrations. The combined effects of storage duration and sterilization resulted in a decrease in the duration of seedling emergence. Seeds previously sterilized with either water or NaOCl had no significant effect on seedling growth, leaf and corm dry weight, but affected almost all the dry matter traits. A mixture of poultry manure, top soil, and river sand as weaning media gave better seedling growth and increased dry matter characteristics. We conclude that M. balbisiana seeds require after-ripening treatment to enhance germination, sterilizing seeds with 5% NaOCl for 10 min and air-drying under ambient condition for 2–6 days were found most appropriate, and a mixture of poultry manure, top soil, and river sand is recommended as weaning medium for growth and dry matter composition in M. balbisiana seeds.