You are on page 1of 9

ABSTRACT

Rottboellia cochinchinensis produce a tremendous amount of seeds which germinate


sporadically in the field due to dormancy. The experiment was conducted to know the
effect of hull, varying light and medium in the dormancy and germination rate of the seeds.
25 dehulled and intact seeds of Rottboellia cochinchinensis are used under three
treatments (diffused light, artificial light, and dark) in three different mediums (filter paper,
soil, and no filter paper). The results showed that there is higher germination rate in
dehulled seeds because physical dormancy was broken. Light treated seeds have higher
germination because it is needed for development. Filter paper as a medium is better than
soil because it absorbs less water which results to higher germination. Dehulled and soil
sown seeds to light has a synergistic effect.

!
!

INTRODUCTION

Rottboellia cochinchinensis, itchgrass, is an annual grass which can grow up to 3


m high, with a sturdy and erect culm, often tillering and rooting at the nodes. The
inflorescence is a spike-like cylindrical raceme up to 15 cm long. It is widely distributed in
the tropics and sub-tropics (Millhollon, 1965). Crop plants that are commonly affected by
itchgrass are maize, sugarcane, upland and rain-fed rice, beans, sorghum and perennials
such as citrus and oil palm at early stages of growth (Labarda, 1990).

The seeds of itchgrass are capsule-shaped containing grains. A single plant can
produce more than 3000 seeds (Thomas, 1970). Itchgrass has been observed by
Pamplona and Mercado (1974) to produce a tremendous amount of seeds which
germinate sporadically in the field due to dormancy. However, most of the seeds germinate
within a 2-year period after dissemination but some may remain dormant and capable of
germination for about 4 years. According to Thomas and Allison (1975), dormancy in
seeds is due to the presence of an enveloping bract and the inherent nature of the seed.
Pamplona and Mercado (1977) attempted to break the dormancy and found that
dehusking and soil sown seeds to light has a synergistic effect.

The experiment aimed to (1) study the role of the husk or hull in the dormancy of
Rottboellia cochinchinensis seed, (2) determine the effect of light and contact with the soil

on the germination of Rottboellia cochinchinensis, and (3) determine the interaction of the
above factors on the germination of Rottboellia cochinchinensis.

!
!
!

METHODOLOGY

25 dehulled and intact seeds were sown separately in Petri dishes. Treatments 1, 2
and 3 with 25 seeds in each petri dish were lined with filter paper. These were put in
diffused light , artificial light and a dark area, respectively. Treatments 4,5 and 6 also had
25 seeds sown in each petri dish with soil as the medium. The same light environments
were applied to treatments 4, 5 and 6, respectively. Treatments 7 and 8 are sown without
filter paper also with 25 seeds in each petri dish. Treatments 7 and 8 were provided
diffused light and dark treatment, respectively.
After one week, the percent germination was calculated by counting the number of
seeds that germinated divided by the original number of seeds in the petri dish. The shoot
and root lengths were also recorded.
Germination (%) =

Number of germinated seeds_

x 100

Number of seeds in the petri dish

After two weeks, the percent germination was calculated again as well as the shoot and
root lengths of the germinated seeds. The data gathered was summarized in tables 1 to 6.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Table 1. Percent germination of intact and dehulled Rottboellia cochinchinensis seeds on


filter paper under different light environments.

FILTER PAPER

DIFFUSED LIGHT

ARTIFICIAL LIGHT

DARK

INTACT

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

R1

12

R2

16

R1

16

18

16

28

R2

20

12

12

12

40

DEHULLED

According to the results above, there is generally zero percent germination in the
seeds with intact hull except for the treatment under diffused light. The dormancy of the
seeds in this case may have been broken even though the hull is intact. In the dehulled
seeds, it can be observed in the figure that there is higher percent germination under the
dark treated seeds. Week 2 was not recorded due to contamination. Next to the dark
treated seeds, artificial light has higher average percent germination than diffused light. In
the dark treated dehulled seeds, it can be that the dormancy has been broken plus it could
have been provide with suitable environment, thus, it resulted to have the highest
germination rate.

!
Table 2. Shoot and root lengths of intact and dehulled Rottboellia cochinchinensis seeds
on filter paper under different light environments.
FILTER
PAPER
INTACT

SHOOT (cm)

ROOT (cm)

DIFFUSED ARTIFICIAL
DIFFUSED ARTIFICIAL
DARK
DARK
LIGHT
LIGHT
LIGHT
LIGHT

R1

8.375

3.75

R2

7.775

4.4

R1

7.36

6.4

5.51

2.6

2.4

1.57

R2

10.45

4.935

4.75

3.19

3.3

2.005

DEHULLED

The results show that there are long shoot and root lengths in the seeds with intact
hull treated in the diffused light. The artificial light and dark treated seeds with intact hull
both have zero percent germination therefore, there is no shoot and root lengths recorded.
In the dehulled seeds, there is generally higher shoot and root length in the diffused light,
next is the artificial light treated seeds and then the dark treated seeds. In the data of the
dehulled seeds, it can be seen that light is a factor which can stretch out the shoot and
root lengths of the dehulled seeds. Diffused light is better than artificial light. Dark treated
seeds yielded the shortest shoot and root lengths. Generally, dehulled seeds have longer
shoot and root lengths than seeds with intact hull. The hull in intact seeds made it less
possible for the seeds to germinate and grow their shoots and roots.

Table 3. Percent germination of intact and dehulled Rottboellia cochinchinensis seeds on


soil under different light environments.
SOIL

DIFFUSED LIGHT

ARTIFICIAL LIGHT

DARK

INTACT

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

R1

R2

R1

28

24

36

R2

36

12

44

14.27

DEHULLED

The results showed in Table 3 that the percent germination of intact seeds on soil
under different light environments yielded lower than the percent germination of dehulled
seeds on soil under different light environments. In this observation, the effect of hull on
the germination rate of itchgrass seeds can be observed. It can be seen in the seeds with
intact hull that the diffused light have the highest percent germination but it has zero on the
2nd week. On the average, artificial light treated seeds will yield the same as the diffused
light. Dark treated seeds with intact hull has the lowest germination rate. In the dehulled
seeds, the diffused light treatment yields the highest germination rate on average, next is
the dark treated seeds and then the artificial light treated seeds. It can be observed that
artificial light is less efficient than the diffused light treatment. Dark treated seeds have high
germination in the week 1 but decline on week 2. With these data, the effect of light
whether the seed is with intact hull or dehulled is somewhat insignificant since light cannot
penetrate on the soil.
Table 4. Shoot and root lengths of intact and dehulled Rottboellia cochinchinensis seeds
on soil under different light environments.
SOIL
INTACT

SHOOT (cm)

ROOT (cm)

DIFFUSED ARTIFICIAL
DIFFUSED ARTIFICIAL
DARK
DARK
LIGHT
LIGHT
LIGHT
LIGHT

R1

1.62

R2

5.88

8.75

1.1

0.05

R1

12.35

10.7

5.165

4.05

3.8

1.78

R2

11.4

8.5

13.46

4.3

3.5

5.65

DEHULLED

The results show that the average shoot and root length of the seeds with intact
hull in artificial light treatment is the longest next is the seeds in the diffused light and the
dark treated seeds has the shortest. In this treatment, it can be observed the artificial light
is the most efficient. In the dehulled seeds, the diffused light treated seeds has the longest
shoot and root length followed by the artificial light and last is the dark treatment. On this
data, it can be observed that the diffused light is most efficient. The effect of the light in the
shoot and root length can be seen since the dark treated seeds yielded the shortest and
the diffused light treated seeds with the longest. The shoot and root length of the dehulled
seeds are generally longer than that of the seeds with intact hull. The hull made it hard for
the seed to develop shoot and roots.

!
Table 5. Percent germination of intact and dehulled Rottboellia cochinchinensis seeds on
treatment without filter paper nor soil under different light environments.

NO FILTER PAPER

DIFFUSED LIGHT

DARK

INTACT

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

R1

R2

R1

20

R2

DEHULLED

!
!
The results showed that the seeds both with hull and dehulled have higher
germination rate in the dark treatment than in the diffused light. In this data, it can be
inferred that the dark treatment was intercepted with light that make the seeds reach for
that light and then grow. Generally, there is higher germination rate in the dehulled seeds
that seeds with intact hull. This data shows that dehulled seeds will have higher
germination rate than seeds with intact hull.

Table 6. Shoot and root lengths of intact and dehulled Rottboellia cochinchinensis seeds
on treatment without filter paper nor soil under different light environments.
NO FILTER PAPER

SHOOT (cm)

ROOT (cm)

INTACT

DIFFUSED
LIGHT

DARK

DIFFUSED
LIGHT

DARK

R1

3.1

0.6

R2

R1

0.86

5.7

0.25

R2

6.95

4.5

0.55

1.75

DEHULLED

The results above shows that there is longer shoot and root length in the dark
treated seeds. This data supports the inference from the data in Table 5. The seed would
have to elongate in order to reach the light, therefore the seeds in dark treatment have
longer shoot length than in the diffused light. Another case could be that the dark treated
seeds are provided with enough water and oxygen. Generally, dehulled seeds have
longer shoot and root lengths that those seeds with intact hull.

!
The results from the data showed that the seeds of Rottboellia cochinchinensis will
have higher germination rate when it is dehulled than when the hull is intact. The hull of
the seeds enables physical dormancy that prevents the seed to germinate even under
favorable environment. The hull covering the seed may act as a barrier that prevent light,
oxygen, and water to reach the embryo. When the seeds are dehulled, it was observed
that the physical dormancy was removed and will result to higher germination rate. The
hull of the seeds also prevents the development of the shoot and roots, thus, when the hull
is removed, there is generally longer shoot and root length.
The effect of light on the germination of the seeds of Rottboellia cochinchinensis
can be observed since when there is light whether diffused or artificial, the germination
rate is higher. However some data shows that light has a non significant effect especially
when the seeds are planted in the soil because light can not penetrate through the soil.

There is longer shoot and root length under light treatments since light is needed by seeds
to grow and develop.
The effect of filter paper as a medium will have higher germination rate than the
treatments with soil as a medium. The treatment without filter paper has the lowest
germination rate. The effect of varying mediums can be attributed to moisture. Soil absorbs
more moisture than filter paper. Therefore, seeds planted in filter paper can imbibe more
water and the germinate and seen in soil will have less water to imbibe. Light can be one
of the factors since light can penetrate fully in filter paper than in the soil as a medium.
However, according to Mercado, there are higher germination rates in soil because it has
more adsorption sites that can bind to leached inhibitors which are absent in the filter
paper. In the case of treatment without filter paper, it can be that the seeds are submerged
in water therefore the seeds cannot acquire oxygen. The experiment without filter paper
are contaminated and that could be one of the reasons why there is low germination rate
in treatments without filter paper.
Therefore, higher germination rate of Rottboellia cochinchinensis seeds can be
attained when it is sown in filter paper. However, Pamplona said that it is better in soil.
Light has also a positive effect on the dormancy and germination of the seeds and also the
dehulling. It can be implied that dehulling and soil sown seeds to light will produce a
combined effect on the germination of Rottboellia cochinchinensis seeds greater than the
sum of their separate effects.

!
!
!
!
!
!
!

!
Effect of hull, varying light and medium in the dormancy and germination rate of Rottboellia
cochinchinensis seeds

!
!
!
!
!
!

October 4, 2015

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Cejalvo, Reneliza D

!
!
!
!
1A

scientific paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements in AGRONOMY 132

Laboratory under Maam Nina Gracel Dimaano, 1st semester, AY 2015-2016.

REFERENCES

Holm, L. G., Plucknett, D.L., Pancho, J.V. & Herberger, J.P. (1977). The Worlds Worst !
!
Weeds, Distribution and Biology. University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu, pp.139-145.!

Millhollon, R.V. (1965). Growth characteristics and control of R. exaltata L.F. a new weed!
!
in sugarcane. The Sugar Bullettin 44, 82-88!

Pamplona, P. P. (1973). Dormancy and germination in Rottboellia exaltata L. F. M. S. !


!
Thesis. University of the Philippines at Los Banos. 65 p.!

Thomas, P. E. L. (1970). A study of the biology of Rottboellia exaltata Linn. f. Proc. 10th Br.
!
Weed Control Conf. 669-676.