Sivakumar V, Anandalakshmi R, Warrier RR, Tigabu M, Odén PC, Vuayachandran SN, Geetha S, Sing BG
Effects of presowing treatments, desiccation and storage conditions on germination of Strychnos nux-vomica seeds, a valuable medicinal plant
New Forests: 2006 32:121-131


Seeds of Strychnos nux-vomica have slow and erratic germination; thus different presowing treatments were applied to enhance the germination of its seeds collected from Tamaraikulam, Tamil Nadu, India. In addition, the effects of desiccation and different storage conditions on the germination of S. nux-vomica seeds were investigated. The results show that soaking in 500 ppm gibberellic acid (GA(3)) for 24 h, incubation of seeds at 40 degrees C for 3 days and alternate water soaking (16 h) and drying (8 h) for 14 days significantly increased the percentage germination compared to the control. Desiccation of seeds down to 10% moisture content resulted in better germination. Germination of S. nux-vomica seeds differed significantly between different storage periods, moisture contents of the seed and for first and second order interactions ( p < 0.001). The highest germination (92%) was achieved when seeds with 10% moisture content were stored at ambient temperature for 30 weeks. Evidence from the present study indicates that S. nux-vomica seeds possess physiological dormancy that can be broken effectively by after-ripening. As seeds of S. nux-vomica are found to be desiccation tolerant, dry seed (10% moisture content) can be hermitically stored at ambient temperature for 30 weeks without losing their viability.

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