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Germplasm Collection and Germination Rate Determination of Desmodium dichotomum in Eastern Amhara, Ethiopia



The study was conducted to collect germplasm and identify appropriate seed treatment technique to enhance germination of Bouffordia dichotoma syn. Desmodium dichotomum, which is self-generating wild legume forage growing in eastern Amhara (North Wollo, South Wollo and Oromia Special Zones), Ethiopia. Twenty six Desmodium dichotomum seed populations (1000 seeds from each) were collected in 2018 from fields using Ethiopian biodiversity institute sample population collection format by considering agro ecological similarity and physical barrier to genetic mixing. The samples were collected from sorghum growing farm-lands. Breaking of dormancy in seeds of Desmodium dichotomum collections was investigated through laboratory experiment to elucidate the best method that can be used to enhance germination of the seed. To test the effectiveness of pre sowing treatments on germination of Desmodium dichotomum collected seed lots, the following treatments were imposed under a completely randomized design with 3 replications of 60 seeds each: mechanical scarification by sand paper; boiled water at 100oC for 4 minutes; and untreated seeds as control. Germination percentage was highest (p < 0.05) for scarification (99.4%) followed by boiled water (79.15%) and untreated seeds (36.58%), respectively. Mechanical scarification greatly reduced germination time as most seeds (68.7%) sprouted in the first 5 days and germination was completed at day 9. Similarly, boiled water made sprout the seeds in the first 5 days (65%) and completed germination at day 10. However, non-treated seeds had started to germinate at day 12 (1%). Scarification by sand paper was quite effective in increasing germination of Desmodium dichotomum collected seeds. Further improvements in germination of Desmodium dichotomum could be expected in different boiling water temperature with different minutes and acid treatment methods.