Olayemi Ibukun Ehoniyotan and Kehinde Stephen Olorunmaiye
Department of Plant Biology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
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Abstract: The effect of seed size on the germination and seedling development was carried out on four local varieties of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L) walp), oloyin,drum, ifebrown and local white. Each of the varieties were sorted into big and small seeds, 100 seeds each of both big and small seeds of the four Varieties were weighed and the average weights were calculated and recorded. Six seeds of each sort were planted in a plastic pot filled with sandy-loamy soil in three replicates. Results of the various parameters studied revealed that germination efficiency was similar in both big and small seeds of drum, oloyin and ifebrown but not in small seeds of local white, weights of 100 seeds from big seeds were much heavier than those of small seeds. Number of leaves, leaf length, leaf breadth, leaf area, stem height and dry weight, were consistently higher in cowpea plants from big seeds than the small seeds of all the varieties. Number of seeds per pod was higher in cowpea from big seeds in all the varieties except in drum where number of seeds was higher in plants from small seeds. In general, seedlings emerging from big seeds of all the cowpea varieties performed better in all the parameters studied than those emerging from smaller seeds.
Keywords: cowpea, germination, seedling, size, vigna unguiculata,