Germination of Eggplant, Okra and Rice Seeds Soaked in Alkaline Water

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Germination of Eggplant (Solanum melongena Linn.), Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench), and Rice (Oryza sativa Linn.) Seeds Soaked in Alkaline Water

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
In Bi 160 and Bi 160.1
First Semester, AY 2012-2013

A Research Paper
Presented to

Anneke Padolina, Ph.D
Department of Biology
Ateneo de Manila University

Submitted by:
Medina, Kryzka

August 2012

I.Introduction

The life cycle of plants is characterized by the change in ploidy of generations; with diploid generations giving rise to haploid generations and vice versa. The diploid generation, commonly called the sporophyte, produces spores via meiosis. Through mitosis these haploid cells develop into a multicellular gametophyte that can be a separate plant in itself or a part of a plant. The gametophyte gives rise to male and female gametes that in turn produce sperm and egg cells, respectively. In gymnosperms and angiosperms, the haploid generations bring forth seeds through fertilization and subsequent growth and development (Solomon et al. 2008). A seed is associated with the independence of the sporophyte generation. It is comprised of a young plant embryo, an endosperm, a perisperm, and a testa or seed coat making it physiologically and structurally equipped to propagate a new plant. The main function of seeds is to give rise to new plants; thus allowing the continuity of the generation. The emergence of a plant starts with seed germination. Dormant seeds have low moisture content and minimal metabolic activity; such seeds are called quiescent wherein none of the germination processes is occurring (Bewley and Black 1994, Bewley 1997). Germination is instigated by the imbibition of water by a quiescent seed and concluded by the initiation of the elongation of the embryonic axis, usually the radicle. (Bewley and Black 1994, Bewley 1997). Seed germination consists of three phases: (1) water imbibition, (2) mitochondrial activity and protein synthesis, and (3) visible germination. The first phase, characterized by influx of water into the cells of the dry seed, results to the leakage of solutes and metabolites from the cells through the temporary perturbations in the structure of the cell membranes. The imbibition of water also leads to the onset of metabolic activity. The second phase, characterized by an increase in metabolic activity, is evidently accompanied by high mitochondrial activity and protein synthesis. Mitochondrial activity includes cellular respiration and ATP synthesis. Protein synthesis results gives rise to various proteins required for germination and development of the seed. Finally, the third phase is characterized by the emergence of the radicle from the structures that encloses the embryo (Bewley 1997). Seed germination will only occur if environmental conditions are favorable. These include optimum temperature, moisture, and light among others; still, specific requirements vary among different species (Monaco et al. 2002). Factors that affect germination are not limited to the aforementioned environmental conditions; salinity, acidity and alkalinity can also influence germination. Increasing germination rate is possible through the manipulation of environmental factors such as alkalinity. Perveen et al. (2008) compared the germination rate of barley seeds soaked in alkaline solutions with varying concentrations and pH levels. Germination rate after 48 hours was 35% for the control, distilled water; while germination rate of seeds soaked in solutions of Ca(OH)2, KOH, and Mg(OH)2 were 60, 66 and 62%, respectively. Likewise, a study by Huo and Simpson (1994) promoted germination of barley seed through the utilization of alkaline solutions. They found out that the efficacy of alkaline treatments is highly dependent on maturity, presence of hulls and moisture content of freshly harvested barley grains. They utilized KOH and NaOH solutions of varying concentrations; immersion time of...
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