Solution pH and Papaya Seed Germination and Seedling Emergence

in HortScience
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  • 1 College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Univ. of Guam, Mangilao, GU 96923

Two studies were conducted to determine the influence of pH on papaya seed germination and seedling emergence. The germination test was conducted with `Waimanalo' and `Tainung 1' seeds, using a double layer of filter paper disks in plastic petri dishes placed within a growth chamber. Each dish received 40 seeds, and germination was defined as when the radicle was visible. Disks were wetted daily with nutrient solution adjusted to pH of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9. Germination began on day 5, and the study was terminated on day 23. Solution pH did not influence germination rate or ultimate germination percentage. `Waimanalo' exhibited 58% germination and `Tainung 1' exhibited 64% germination in this test. The seedling emergence study was conducted with `Waimanalo' seeds using sand culture within a growth chamber. Thirty seeds were planted in 10-cm containers, and the sand was irrigated daily with the solutions from the first study. Emergence was defined as when the hypocotyl hook was visible above the sand. Emergence began on day 10, and the study was terminated on day 30. Solution pH did not influence seedling emergence, and mean emergence was 69% in this study. The results indicate that the seed germination and seedling emergence stages of papaya seedling growth are adapted to a wide range of substrate pH.