Effect of Geographic Source of Seed on Morphometric and Germination Characteristics of Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. Seeds

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Khalil, A.A.M.
Siam, A.M. J.
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Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Shambat, Sudan
The effect of site of origin on seed morphometric and germination characteristics was investigated in diverse populations of Acacia senegal. Seeds were collected from four different ecological zones (viz: El-fashir and Hawata from Sudan, Windou-tiengloy from Senegal, and Dha-bi-ji from Pakistan). Based on moisture gradients, the seed sources were divided into two categories: xeric (El-fashir and Dha-bi-ji) and mesic (Hawata and Windou-tiengloy). Data on seed length, width, thickness, weight and number of seeds/kg were collected. Seed germination traits in terms of germination speed and total germination percentage were assessed in a germination room kept at constant temperature of 30°C. El-fashir seed sample had significantly higher seed weight, length and width than the other provenances. Seeds from drier sources had significantly higher seed weight and thickness than the mesic; accordingly, the provenances were ranked in order of decreasing seed weight as El-fashir>Dha-bi-ji>Hawata>Windou-tiengloy and the ranking of number of seeds/kg was opposite to seed weight. Dha-bi-ji exhibited the highest germination speed and total percentage up to the end of the experiment with significant differences between the provenances, except Hawata. The results suggest that the intra-specific variation in seed weight and germination traits, in this study, might be due to genetic and environmental factors other than rainfall and latitude of the seed origins. The observed morphometric and germination traits may qualify Dha-bi-ji as a potential seed source for establishment of A. senegal plantations in dry lands.
Page(s):11 (2), 231-246, 16 Ref.