Use of Growth Regulators Improves Germination of `Jalapeno M' Chile at Supraoptimal Temperatures

in HortScience

Thermoinhibition has been observed in chile (Capsicum annuum L.) transplants grown in greenhouses in southern climates. Hormones have been used successfully as a treatment for thermoinhibition in other vegetable crops. This experiment examined the effects of Ethrel and Release as treatments to improve germination in chile seeds germinated at a supraoptimal temperature. Seeds of `Jalapeno M' were soaked in solutions of Ethrel at 1.75, 3.0, 7.0, or 10.5 mM concentration or Release at 0.50, 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0 mM concentration, or 16 different combinations of the two growth regulators. The seeds were soaked in the treatment solutions for 40 hours at 25°C. A H2O-soaked and a non-soaked control were also included. Afterwards, the seeds were rinsed, dried, then germinated in 25°C or 40°C incubators. At 25°C, all treatments reached 98% germination or better after 10 days, indicating that none of the treatments were detrimental to germination. At 40C, germination percentages amongtreatments ranged from 0% for the nonsoaked control to 90% for a Release–Ethrel combination. Generally, the combination treatments resulted in germination percentages higher than either Ethrel or Release used alone. Results of these tests in petri dishes indicate the possibility of growth regulators being used to overcome thermoinhibition in chile. A greenhouse study is underway.

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