Organic Seed Hydration-Dehydration Techniques Improve Seedling Quality of Organic Tomatoes
The use of pre-sowing organic hydration-dehydration techniques to improve quality and performance of organic seeds has already been lacking in the literature as well as in the organic farming regulations of different countries. Hence, this study was conducted to investigate the effects of organic hydration (hydropriming and organic priming) and dehydration treatments on germination and early seedling growth in organic tomato seeds. Following each priming treatment, the seeds were surface dried and divided into two sub-groups. First part of the seeds was taken to the germination tests immediately while the second part was dried back until the original seed moisture content was reached before the germination tests were set up. Then, responses of organic tomato seeds to organic hydration and dehydration treatments were observed on the bases of viability (normal germination rate) and different vigour parameters such as mean germination time, germination index, seedling dry weight and seedling vigour index. When the overall data were assessed, the best results were obtained from the hydropriming and organic priming with 250 ppm seaweed extract solution followed by both dehydration treatments in organic tomato seeds. Consequently, these results suggested that hydropriming and organic priming could be used both in seed and seedling industries to improve organic seed quality and performance. Furthermore, the results indicated that the addition of these organic hydration-dehydration protocols to the current procedures of the regulations of organic tomato production could be a useful strategy.
Key words:Â Lycopersicon esculentum, Ascophyllum nodosum, hydropriming, organic priming, seed viability, seed vigour
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