Genotype, seed age and pH impacts on germination of alfalfa
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The aim of this investigation was to estimate the effects of pH levels of germination media (5, 6, 7 and 8) and seed age (9 and 1 years) on germination and early seedling growth in five Serbian alfalfa cultivars (K-22, K-23, NS Banat, NS Mediana and ZA-83). The experiment was conducted in the laboratory conditions of the Institute for Animal Husbandry in Belgrade in October 2010. Cultivars and seed age had significant effect (p lt = 0.01) on the germination energy (GE), germination (G), percentage of dead or infected seeds (DIS), percentage of hard seed (HS), normal (NS) and abnormal seedlings (AS), root length (RL), shoot length (ShL), seedling length (SeL), dry weight (DW) and seedling vigor index (SVI). The pH levels of germination media had significant effect (p lt = 0.01) on the GE, NS, AS, RL, ShL, SeL, fresh weight of seedling (FW), DW and SVI. Also pH had significant effect (p lt = 0.05) on the G and DIS. Results indicate genetic variability exists among Serbian alfalfa cult...ivars for pH tolerance, which can be useful for alfalfa breeding program to develop alfalfa germplasm tolerant to this stress.