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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 46 No. 3, p. 1336-1340
    Received: Sept 27, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): rcpgd@ukzn.ac.za
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Aerosol Smoke and Smoke-Water Stimulation of Seedling Vigor of a Commercial Maize Cultivar

  1. S. G. Sparg,
  2. M. G. Kulkarni and
  3. J. van Staden *
  1. Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa


The effect of smoke as a germination cue is well documented. Recent developments in smoke technology have suggested that smoke also improves vigor. It has been reported that indigenous storage methods of South African maize landraces using smoke enhances seedling vigor. This present study highlights the effects of aerosol smoke and smoke–water on the germination and seedling vigor of a commercial maize cultivar, Zea mays L. var. PAN 6479. Various presoaking and smoking combinations were investigated. Treating seeds with aerosol smoke showed significant (p < 0.05) stimulatory effects on vigor. However, prolonged exposure to aerosol smoke resulted in reduced germination which was alleviated by rinsing the seeds. Furthermore, presoaking seeds before exposure to aerosol smoke also significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the inhibitory effect of prolonged smoking. The combination of presoaking and smoking had a significant (p < 0.05) improvement on the percentage germination. This study also showed that smoke has the potential to improve not only the percentage germination but also seedling vigor of commercially bred maize seeds.

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