EFFECT OF PACKAGING MATERIALS AND STORAGE CONDITIONS ON SEED-BORNE FUNGI IN STORED KENAF (HIBISCUS CANABINNUS. L) SEEDS
Keywords:Storage conditions, Fungal incidence, Kenaf seeds, Seed viability
Despite an increase in production and utilization of kenaf products in recent years, there is a problem with low-quality seeds due to scanty information on kenaf seeds storage. This experiment aimed at determining the best material for storing kenaf seeds and to determine the best storage condition that will hinder the proliferation of fungi on kenaf seeds. Kenaf seeds (var IFE KEN) were collected from the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, IAR&T, Nigeria. The seeds were packed in six (6) different storage materials and kept at ambient and freezing conditions of 27 + 2oC and 4oC respectively, for 6 months, seed-borne fungi isolation and identification, and viability tests were carried out. The experiment was a 2 x 7 factorial experiment laid out using a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). Isolation of fungi was carried out using the agar method. Data collected were subjected to descriptive statistics and analysis of variance, while means were separated using the Duncan Multiple Range Test at a 5% probability level. Results showed that the polyethene bag recorded the highest germination of IFE-KEN 400 kenaf seeds (90%), followed by the envelope after being stored in the two storage conditions for 6 months. All the storage materials used to store the seeds at ambient conditions had fungal incidence throughout the period of storage. Thus, it is advised to store kenaf seeds in a polyethene bag at 40C to maintain the seeds' quality in storage for seed viability preservation and to reduce the establishment of fungi on the seeds.