The study was conducted at the laboratory of the Crop Production Department, of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria in 2009. The purpose was to determine the effect of hot-water steeping and storage container on seed longevity and seedling vigour of Corchorus olitorius. The study was also to determine if and when seed dormancy would be alleviated during the storage of the seeds of this crop. Samples of steeped (mildly dormant: md) and the unsteeped (strongly dormant: sd) seeds were packaged in glass bottles, and paper envelopes and stored at 30°C for 22 weeks. Seed germination, using the between paper method, seedling length and fresh seedling weight were determined at the onset of storage and subsequently at two weeks interval. Prior to storage, germination percentages of 72 and 28 were recorded for md and sd seeds respectively. There were some increases in germination percentages, seedling length and weight within the first six to eight weeks of storage and the level of increase depended on container and dormancy depth. A decline in the scores of all the parameters was subsequently recorded. Germination remained poor in the unsteeped seeds and viability was better preserved in glass bottles than in paper envelopes. Dormancy was not alleviated to any appreciable extent during the storage period. There were indications that seed death occurred even in the dormant state and that dormancy did not confer longevity superiority on the seed of this crop.
Key words: Jute mallow, Corchorus olitorius, dormancy, longevity, vigour.
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