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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Talk About Vegetable Seed

As I know about Seed is defined as a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant. The formation of the seed completes the process of reproduction in seed plants (started with the development of flowers and pollination), with the embryo developed from the zygote and the seed coat from the integuments of the ovule. This article I like to share knowledge about the importance of vegetable seed and what actually vegetable seeds industry to support the food production chain in Malaysia.

Seeds have been an important development in the reproduction and spread of flowering plants, relative to more primitive plants like mosses, ferns and liverworts, which do not have seeds and use other means to propagate themselves. This can be seen by the success of seed plants (both gymnosperms and angiosperms) in dominating biological niches on land, from forests to grasslands both in hot and cold climates. Seed production is an important industry dominated by few major countries. Total seed value in Malaysia about RM 30-RM40 million annually. Malaysia import more than 90% of vegetable seeds from China, Taiwan, Thailand and few other country.


Do you know that some of vegetable seed fail to germinate because they do not have a "LIVE EMBRYO'? This occurs because fertilization of the flower wan incomplete or because the fertilised seed did not develop properly. Farmers has to ensure to remove the 'dead seed' from their stocks. Some other seed also considered useless due to under-developed embryos. I observed that some seed fail to germinate or slow to germinate in the farm. Other seed germinate but not vigorous and diseased. There is certain crop seed need special treatment before they will germinate. The uniform seed growing stage is important for leafy vegetable such as Brassica, Kangkung, Sawi, Kuchai, kailan and many others. Problem in seed germination affect the harvesting activities and tendency for pests and disease attack.

How long the vigourous vegetable seed for storage period? Any seed stored very long from harvesting season may not suitable for new planting because the germination rate may be poor. Study shown that most seed will germinate after 2-3 years if they are kept in sealed container but only few month (less than a year in unsealed condition). Seeds are kept in warm and humid condition they will often fail to germinate after a few weeks. The curent seed storage are using air tight (vacuum) packet to ensure longer storage and 'vigurous seed'.

Some common seed storage life period categorised by table as below:-

Up To 3 years : Lettuce, Leek, Onion. Parnship
Up to 6 years : Carrot, Cauliflower
Up to 9 years : Cabbage, Swede and Trunip
Up to 10 years: Tomato, Radish



By,
M Anem
Agronomist
Malaysia

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