Legume Research

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Legume Research, volume 44 issue 8 (august 2021) : 956-961

Integrated Effect of Pre-Sowing Seed Treatment, Sowing Windows and Seasons on Seed Yield and Quality of Greengram

Krishna Devi2, Purna K. Barua1, Meghali Barua1,*
1Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat-785 013, Assam, India.
2Assam State Seed Certification Agency, Guwahati-781 007, Assam, India.
  • Submitted27-05-2019|

  • Accepted04-09-2019|

  • First Online 09-11-2019|

  • doi 10.18805/LR-4174

Cite article:- Devi Krishna, Barua K. Purna, Barua Meghali (2021). Integrated Effect of Pre-Sowing Seed Treatment, Sowing Windows and Seasons on Seed Yield and Quality of Greengram . Legume Research. 44(8): 956-961. doi: 10.18805/LR-4174.
An experiment was conducted to study the effect of presowing seed treatment, sowing windows and seasons on seed yield and quality of greengram by sowing the treated seeds on two dates each in summer and kharif. The treatments viz., 8 hours of water soaking; priming with 100 ppm MnSO4, 1% neem leaf extract, 5 ppm GA3, 1% KCl; coating with 10 ml linseed oil, 50 gm rhizobium, 4 g Trichoderma per kg seed; combination of neem leaf extract priming and rhizobium coating, combination of linseed oil and rhizobium coating. Seed quality and yield was highly influenced by seed treatments, dates and seasons; treatment and seasonal effects being greater than sowing dates. GA3, KCl and MnSO4 primed seed found most effective for enhancing the seed quality and yield. Summer season was better than kharif season for both seed quality and yield.
Greengram (Vigna radiate L.) is the third important pulse crop of India after chickpea and pigeon pea because of its contribution of protein to human diet that helps to overcome protein malnutrition for nearly 43 per cent of Indian population who are vegetarians. It contains 26 per cent easily digestible protein. Greengram cultivation is beneficial in sustaining soil fertility by improving soil physical properties and fixing atmospheric nitrogen.
There is a huge gap between world pulse productivity (904 kg/ha) and India’s productivity (650 kg/ha) (Tiwari and Shivhare, 2016), indicating huge scope for improvement in pulse productivity of the country. This gap might be due to use of poor quality seeds, poor soil management, poor crop production practices (Kamaraj and Padmavathi, 2012), cultivation under rainfed situation besides biotic and abiotic factors.
The yield gap may be addressed by supply of good quality seeds, adopting improved seed production methods, pre-sowing seed treatments like priming, coating etc. Good crop stand in adverse soil and atmospheric condition can be achieved by improving seed germination performance through pre-sowing treatment (Heydecker, 1974). Seed priming is one of the pre sowing seed treatments found to be effective for legumes (Rao et al., 2012). Seed priming entails the partial germination of seeds by soaking them in water (or in salt solution) for specified period of time, and then re-drying them to their original moisture content just before radicle emergence (Copeland and McDonald, 1995). Priming stimulates many of the metabolic processes involved with the early phases of germination. During priming, a part of the germination process already get initiated so primed seeds germinate vigorously, grow faster and perform better in field than non-primed seeds. Primed seeds also emerge more uniformly than non-primed seeds leading to more uniform plant stand. Seed coating also improves seedling establishment as well as improves seed handling. Depending on coating material, seed can be protected from disease, pest, nematode etc.
To evaluate the effect of pre sowing seed treatments on seed yield and quality, the greengram crop was grown in different sowing dates and seasons. Since sowing time and season are major factors affecting the growth and yield of crops having great influence on flowering time, dry matter accumulation, seed set and seed yield (Barua and Barua, 2000).
The experiment was conducted during summer and kharif season of the year 2015-16 at Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat (26°46' N, 94°16' E, 86.6 m a.s.l.). The soils of the experimental site belonged to the order inceptisols and sandy loam texture with pH 4.8. The status of organic matter and potash was medium and nitrogen and phosphorus was low. The weather of the experimental site during 2015-16 was hot and humid in summer and mild cold and humid in winter. Breeder seeds of greengram variety Pratap,  a recommended variety of Assam were sown on 29th February and 15th March 2016 as summer crop and 28th August and 9th September 2016 as kharif crop in randomized block design with three replications in 5 rows plots of 3m length each. A spacing of 30 cm between rows and 10 cm between plants was maintained. Before each sowing, seeds were subjected to ten pre-sowing seed treatments as described in Table 1. The crop was harvested from 3+ May to 11th May for 29th February sown crop, from 17th to 27th May for 15th March sown crop, from 29th October to 10th November for 28th August sown crop and from 13th to 22nd November for 9th September sown crop.

Table 1: Seed treatments and procedure.

Germination test of treated seeds were done before each sowing and also after each harvest as per ISTA (1985) procedure in completely randomized design with 3 replications, each replication with 100 seeds. The observations were recorded for germination, hard seed, dead seed and fresh ungerminated seed, seedling vigour index (SVI- computed by multiplying germination % and mean seedling length of 10 seedlings at final count), seedling length and dry weight. In the field, observations were recorded for seedling emergence and shoot and root length at 20 DAS, days to 50% flowering, days to maturity, raw and graded seed yield per plot (7.5 m2), seed purity and 100 seed weight. Analysis of variance was carried out on the plot mean data by standard method (Gomez and Gomez, 1984). Pooled analyses were done for data of two summer sowings, for data of two kharif sowings and for summer and kharif sowings.
Seed treatment effects on seed quality and yield
In the present study pre-sowing seed treatments had a significant positive influence not only on the germination parameters (Table 2) but also on seed yield and quality parameters (Table 3). The treatment effect was observed even after the harvest of the crop (Table 4). Seed priming found effective for reducing emergence time, accomplishing uniform emergence, better allometric (change in growth of plant parts over time) attributes and requisite stand (Ashraf and Foolad, 2005) in legumes thereby enhancing yield and produced more vigorous crop, induced earlier flowering and improved harvest index (Rashid et al., 2004). Seeds hardened with 5ppm GA3 showed highest germination, seedling length, dry weight and SVI and lowest hard seed and fresh ungerminated seed both before sowing and after harvesting whereas 1% neem, GA3 and neem+Rhizobium treatments produced lower dead seed. After GA3, 1% KCl and MnSO4 treatments were found better for enhancing germination parameters. In field also, higher seedling emergence, seedling length, raw and graded seed yield, seed purity and 100 seed weight, earlier flowering and maturity were observed in GA3 treatment, though MnSO4 and KCl treatments were also found effective. High morphological and biochemical parameters including germination and seedling length in GA3 treatment were observed in greengram also by Ganesh et al., (2013) and Islam et al., (2012) and Sivakumar and Nandhitha (2017). Debbarma et al., (2017, 2018) also reported higher seedling root and shoot length, fresh and dry weight in GAprimed seeds of chilli, coriander and bittergourd. It has been opined that since GA3 is a potent hormone, occurring naturally in plants, it has effects not only on cell growth and elongation but also on germination and seedling growth (Dheeba et al., 2015). The lower hard seed in GA3 treatment might also indicate its ability to break dormancy. Islam et al., (2012) attributed higher germination and seedling growth in GA3 primed seed to accumulation of nucleic acid whereas, Sarika et al., (2013) to increased catalase activity. Higher seedling length and dry weight in GA3 treatment indicates higher growth rate, hence would contribute to vigourous crop growth and it is a known fact that vigourous seed can produce a better seedling under stress conditions than the non-vigorous one. GA3 also can enhance water uptake capability of the seed (Jamil and Rha, 2007) which might be the reason of higher germination. Less dead seed in neem treatment and higher raw and graded seed yield in neem+Rhizobium treatment may be due to the presence of antimicrobial property of the neem extract indicating potentiality of neem extract to be used as botanical priming agent. Raja et al., (2019) also reported higher germination and vigour in black gram seeds treated with Rhizobium, phosphobacteria and PPFM than chemical treatment. Early flowering and maturity in gibberellic acid priming might be due to the reason that as gibberellic acid enhances the rate of germination of the crop so it reduces the duration to 50% flowering in the crop. Mazed et al., (2015) reported that 225 ppm GA3 treated seed had higher germination percentage and quicker germination time hence takes shorter time for 50% flowering. In general, priming results in metabolic repair of damage during treatment (Bradford et al., 1990) and better genetic repair like earlier and faster synthesis of DNA, RNA and proteins, which may be the basis for enhanced growth.

Table 2: Mean performance for germination parameters of treated seeds before sowing.


Table 3: Mean performance for seed yield and quality parameters of treated seeds in field.


Table 4: Mean performance for germination parameters of seeds after harvest of the crop.

On the other hand, linseed oil treatment produced the highest percentage of hard seed, dead seed and fresh ungerminated seed. In field also linseed oil coated seed produced less seedling emergence, seedling length which was even lower than control and took maximum days to 50% flowering and maturity, produced the lowest seed yield with least purity. The lower germination might be due to non absorption of water by the linseed oil coated seed resulting in less germination in a speculated time but more percentage of hard, dead and fresh ungerminated seed. Borthakur (2018) reported lowest germination in greengram seed when coated with linseed oil as hydrophobic agent @ 5 ml/kg and hence found effective treatment for seedling establishment under high soil moisture stress condition compared to the control.
Sowing date effects on seed quality and yield
The effect of sowing dates on seed quality and yield was not found of much significance. Barring few traits like fresh ungerminated seed and seedling dry weight which were higher in first summer sowing and germination, seedling length, SVI which were higher in second kharif sowing, all other traits were found to be unaffected by sowing dates (Table 5). After harvesting, effect of sowing dates was found even more insignificant since only seedling length and SVI in kharif, which were higher in first sowing, all others traits showed non-significant variation due to sowing dates (Table 7). In field, higher seed purity was observed in first summer sowing and higher raw and graded seed yield and earlier flowering in second kharif sowing (Table 6). Hence, it can be concluded that first summer sowing (29th February) and second kharif sowing (9th September) was marginally better than second summer sowing (15th March) and first kharif sowing (28th August), respectively.
Seasonal effect on seed quality and yield
Seasonal influence was found far more significant than sowing dates. The germination and seedling parameters both before sowing (Table 5) and after harvest (Table 7), even field performance (Table 6) were better in summer. Higher germination and SVI and lower dead seed but higher hard seed and fresh ungerminated seed were obtained in summer. More hard seed percentage in summer might be due to prevalence of hot weather condition during seed development and maturation, resulting in rapid dehydration of seed leading to hard seed production (Prasad and Karivaratharaju, 1994). Reduction in the 100 seed weight in kharif could be due to insufficient seed filling affected by increased respiration and lower photosynthesis. Higher seedling length, raw and graded seed yield, 100 seed weight and earlier flowering and maturity were observed in summer than kharif. Saini and Das (1979) reported that higher seed yield of summer greengram crop was associated with high net assimilation ratio, thus permitting higher seed growth rate. Barua and Barua (2000) also reported better crop in summer than in kharif. Lower yield in kharif may be due to the fact that kharif crop had to be  harvested under low humidity, low temperature and water stress condition resulting in poor grain filling and resulting in more dead seed.
This research experiment provided evidence that pre sowing seed treatments can be effectively utilized to enhance yield and seed quality of greengram in a region with high temperature, humidity and rainfall during summer and cold, foggy and dry during winter. The best treatment was found to be priming with 5 ppm gibberellic acid followed by 1% KCl and 100 ppm MnSO4 hardening for enhancing seed quality thereby enhancing crop stand in the field and increasing crop yield. These pre sowing seed treatments are also farmers and environment friendly and can help in economic sustainability of poor and marginalized farmers. Season wise, the summer season was found to be better than kharif season for both crop yield and seed quality.
Authors are highly thankful to Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat for proving all the facilities to carry out the experiment. Authors also thank Regional Agricultural Research Station, AAU, Shillongoni for providing the seed.

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