Effects of antifungal plant extracts on improving maize seedling emergence and plant growth

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International Seed Testing Association


Maize seeds are usually contaminated with seed-borne fungi which cause seed deterioration and seedling death. Seed treatment using chemical fungicides is a common practice, although fungicides can reduce seed longevity and lead to residues, resistance, and environmental pollution. This study was conducted to determine the effects of plant extracts (PEs; Azadirachta indica, Coffea Arabica, and Zingiber officinale) on seedling emergence and seedling vigour of certified (CS) and farmer-saved (FSS) seeds of maize. Seeds treated with water-extracted PEs had significantly higher seedling emergence with 85.8% and 61.7% for FSS and CS, respectively, while ethanol-extracted PEs had 6.7% and 7.5% seedling emergence for FSS and CS, respectively. The minimum mean number of days to the first emergence was less for seeds treated with water-extracted PEs (3.0 and 3.3 for FSS and CS, respectively) than those treated with ethanol-extracted PEs (6.3 and 7.0 for FSS and CS, respectively). According to this study, water-extracted PEs are potential candidates in seed treatment, because they have fewer adverse effects on seedling emergence and vigour. Although other studies mention PEs extracted using organic solvents to be the best, the study’s recommendation is to ensure that organic solvents are completely removed from PE solutions before using them.


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Anti-funga, Plant extracts, Seed-borne fungi, Seed germination, Seed treatment, Seedling vigour