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Plant Pathology Journal
 
Potential of Leaf Decoctions in Germinability Improvement and Protection Against Fungal Pathogens on Abelmoschus esculentus
Oghenerobor B. Akpor and Olarewaju M. Oluba

Abstract:
Background and Objective: Accomplishing fast and uniform seedling development is strategic for crop vigour because delayed germination regularly open seedlings to unfavorable ecological conditions and soil-borne diseases. This study was aimed at assessing the germinability enhancement and protective potentials of leaf decoctions of four selected plants (Chromolaena odorata, CO; Nauclea latifolia, NL, Ipomoea asavifolia, IP and Moringa oleifera, MO) in comparison to hydrogen peroxide (HP), normal saline suspended cells of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) and water (control) against selected fungal pathogens (Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium and Aspergillus niger) on Abelmoschus esculentus (okra). Materials and Methods: Surface sterilized seeds of Abelmoschus esculentus were soaked in the fungal pathogens for 1 h before being steeped in a given concentration of the respective decoctions for another 1 h and then planted on wet blotter for 7 days while monitoring the germination parameters. Results: The highest germination rates of 64.23 and 64.29% were observed when the seeds were primed with 5-fold dilution of CO and IP, respectively. However, germination was highest (64.28%) at 2-fold and 5-fold dilutions when primed with MO while HP-primed seed gave the germination rate was 92.86%. For seeds primed with the PA, germination rate of 71.42% was observed in the undiluted and 5-fold dilutions. The optimum soaking time was observed to be between 3 and 6 h, when the seeds were primed with the different decoctions. Following pre-treatment of the seeds with the fungal pathogens prior to priming with the different osmotica, germination rate reduced to 50%. This is significant compared to no growth observed in infected seeds without priming. Conclusion: Priming with decoctions of CO, IP and MO as well as HP and PA significantly improve germinability and confer protection against fungal infection. Thus, scale-up to field trials using CO, IP and MO decoctions, as well as HP and PA as bio-fungicide prior to planting for protection of okra seeds, seems justified as a sustainable alternative to the use of chemical fungicides.
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