Southern highland papaya (Vasconcellea quercifolia A. St.-Hil.): Do fruit ripening and harvesting time affect seed germination?


Acta Sci., Agron.




ABSTRACT. In this work, we report the effects of the harvesting time, the stages in fruit ripening and the influence of potassium nitrate in V. quercifolia seed germination. In addition, information about the storage period and light requirements is provided. Fruits were harvested at the beginning and at the end of the fruiting season, and they were classified into five ripening categories. Seed germination was evaluated with two factorial experiments: 1) harvesting time, fruit ripening, and pre-germination treatment; 2) storage and light requirements. The response variables were germination percentage, mean germination time, and seedling vigor. Seeds harvested at the beginning of the season appeared to be less dormant and they were not influenced by fruit ripening or pre-germination treatments. By contrast, seeds harvested at the end of the season were influenced by fruit ripening and pre-germination treatments. Light and seed storage had a positive effect on germination. Mean germination time varied from 12 to 40 days, and vigor index was positively influenced by potassium nitrate. V.quercifolia seeds are photoblastic positive at constant temperatures and their dormancy can be influenced by harvest time, fruit ripening and a storage period.

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