Germination rates of frozen grain legume seeds in Cameroon

Atemkeng Maureen Fonji, Neba A. Akongwi, Christophe Owoma Owoma, Odile Bassi
A project on collection and conservation of genetic resources was carried out in Cameroon in 2014 in villages around Yaounde, Mbalmayo, and Ebolowa. Samples of all grain legume species cultivated by the farmers were collected from the 15th of March till early May 2015. Farmers in these zones cultivate mostly ground nuts, followed by soybean and cowpea. A total of 39, 13, and 45 samples were collected from Yaounde, Mbalmayo, and Ebolowa, respectively. After collection, samples were sun-dried,
more » ... ated, labeled, plasticized, and stored in the freezer at -20oC in the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) store room at Nkolbisson, Yaounde. A trial was carried out at IRAD Kumba experimental farms in 2016 to purify and maintain 14 cowpea and 12 groundnut samples from the freezer, under the C2D project. There were highly significant differences (P< 0.05) amongst samples (treatments) for the germination rate. Cowpea samples had a germination rate ranging from 0.33 to 47.67%, while germination rates for groundnuts were between16.67 to 68.33%. Out of the 26 samples, only 5 (19%) had germination rates above 50%. Due to irregular power supply, freezing turned out to be an ineffective storage method for grain legume seeds. Seeds are now being maintained in vivo in small quantities and on seasonal basis which renders the job of plants breeders very difficult and ineffective. Alternatives storage methods and facilities for grains and seeds in developing countries like Cameroon remain an urgent need to boost research and ensure food security.
doi:10.5073/jka.2018.463.020 fatcat:p6gzmuahifhmdcf75hm2wxafwe