Screening of African Yam Bean Accessions for Imbibition and Seed Physiological Quality

  •  Catherine Veronica Nnamani    
  •  Femi Emmanuel Awosanmi    
  •  Sunday Adesola Ajayi    


African yam bean is a nutritionally-important but neglected food crop with several health benefits. But its large scale cultivation and consumption are still limited by lack of systematic genetic improvement and breeding programme for the crop. Preliminary studies have established that the inherent field establishment potential of African yam bean is low. Hence the need to screen available accessions to identify those with outstanding seed physiological qualities for selection as parental materials for further improvement. Thirty-four African yam bean accessions were collected from different farmers in five states of Southeastern Nigeria. Seed physiological quality (viability and vigour) was assessed using hundred seed weight, water imbibition, standard germination, accelerated ageing and conductivity tests. The mean squares due to varietal effect were significant (p < 0.05) for germination index and highly significant (p < 0.01) for all other traits. Accessions ENAGag, ENAGmg 1 and, ENAGmg 2 had high standard (> 80%) and accelerated ageing (> 70%) germination percentages. Only 11 of the accessions had an accelerated ageing germination percentage of above 50%. All but one of the 34 accessions had conductivity values less than 5.00 µScm-1 g-1. On the average, African yam bean seeds require up to 76.9% moisture of their initial weight over a period of approximately 53 hours prior for the commencement of germination process. Accessions ENAGag, ENAGmg 1, ENAGmg 2, ENNKob, ENNSog, IMISis, IMOKeo 1 and IMOKeo 3 were outstanding and are therefore potential candidates for genetic improvement of seed quality in African yam bean.

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