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Improvement of Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantic L.)
Aye, Myint Myint
Bitter gourd seeds have small cotyledons enclosed in a hard, thick seed coat. Which, limits germination to unacceptably low level. A number of pre-sowing treatments can increase germination by overcoming the limitations imposed by the seed coat. For all three varieties of bitter gourd seeds used in this study, germination at 30, 25and 20℃ were the best when seeds were clipped and soaked in running water for 12 hrs. Seeds immersed in 50oC water for 60 min exhibited significantly higher germination than seeds immersed at other temperatures and for different times. The germination of seeds treated with H2SO4 was the highest after 30 sec of immersion. However, germination decreased as immersion time increased beyond 30 sec. Germination was higher for clipped seeds immersed in 15% H2O2 for 25 min and for unclipped seeds imbibed with 1% H2O2 water. Priming seeds for 2 days with vermiculite No. 2 and NaOCl at a seeds: vermiculite # 2: 0.1% NaOCl ratio of 9:12:18, by weight produced the highest germination rate. The highest emergence rate was achieved with two different treatments of soaking clipped seeds in running water for 12 hr or immersing unclipped seeds in 50°C water for 1 hr. The conductivity of leachate from ‘Fen Ching' and ‘Ching Pi' bitter gourd seeds that were soaked prior to sowing was assayed during the first 12 hr of imbibition. The leachate from control seeds had the highest conductivity, while the leachate from seeds treated with H2SO4 exhibited the second highest conductivity. After imbibition for 12 hr, the lowest conductivity value was obtained from the leachate of seeds that soaked in running water or immersed in 50°C water. In addition, after soaking 24 hr, the leachate from the seeds in these two treatments contained significantly fewer phenolic compounds and free amino acids than the leachate from seeds that received other treatments. When seeds soaked in water for one hr, the soluble carbohydrates, phenolic compound and free amino acids from seeds soaked in 50°C water were significantly more than those in 25°C water. Seeds soaked in water for 12 hr contained significantly less water and more soluble carbohydrates, and had a significantly higher respiration rate than seeds soaked for 24 hr. The densest seeds were also the heaviest seeds and had the highest germination and shortest germination time (MDG). After-ripening significantly increased the germination and decreased the MDG of the densest seeds from completely yellow gourds. For seeds of a given density from half-yellow gourds, the germination of seeds after-ripened for 72 hr was significantly greater than the germination of seeds after-ripened for 24 hr. There were significantly more soluble carbohydrates in seeds from after-ripened, half-yellow gourds, than in seeds from untreated completely yellow gourds. Among seeds from half-yellow gourds, the soluble carbohydrates were highest in seeds from gourds after-ripened 72 hr, and starch content was highest in seeds from gourds after-ripened 24 hr. Seeds from fruit after-ripened 72 hr had the greatest emergence force. The effective and cheap pre-sowing methods were demonstrated in this research for enhancing seeds germination. Bitter gourd seed quality was enhanced by adequate fruit maturity, after ripening and seed density grading. The pre-sowing treatment that increased germination the most and was least expensive was seeds immersed in 50oC water for 60 min.
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