Pre-sowing Treatments: An Option to Increase Germination of Habanero Peppers (Capsicum chinese Jacq.)
Habanero pepper (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) seeds decrease their germination after storage periods exceeding 100 d. Pre-sowing treatments, reinvigorate, accelerate and uniform seed germination of the genus Capsicum. In this study habanero pepper seeds were pre-treated during 144 h with constant aeration in distilled water and aqueous solutions (treatments) of: KNO3 at 3 %, polyethylene glycol (PEG) at -0.5 MPa, abscisic acid (ABA) at 10-5 M and gibberellic acid (GA3) at 400 ppm. After pre-sowing treatments, seeds were germinated in petri dishes and trays (the control was sown without pre-treatment). The experimental design was a completely randomized, the data were used to perform ANOVA and means were compared using Tukey test (p≤0.05). Results showed that seeds treated with ABA (13.22 % of germinated seeds d-1) increased germination rate compared with the control (6.38 % of germinated seeds d-1) and all pre-sowing treatments increased the germination percentage (%G), but not all of them maintained that increase during emergence. In emergence percentage (%E) only PEG and KNO3 treatments (osmotic) were statistically different from the control surpassing it at 36 and 21 %. Osmotic treatments avoided protrusion during the pre-sowing treatment and their %E was similar to %G. The pre-sowing treatment of seeds is optimal if germination and emergence is increased; therefore the presowing treatment of habanero pepper seeds with KNO3, PEG and ABA is more appropriate to increase seedling establishment.