An Evaluation of the Effect of Changing the Sowing Time through Seed Priming on Seed Yield and Yield Components in two Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) Cultivars



Augment of germination rate is important in seedling establishment and crop yield. A set of study in laboratory & field conditions at Agronomy Department of University of Tehran was conducted during 2004-2005. In lab. experiment the effects of seed priming was evaluated on germination indices (germination percentage and rate) of chickpea genotypes in a factorial experiment of 4×3×2 arranged in a complete randomized block design of three replications. The treatments included: some priming solution (PEG, KNO3 and H2O), duration of seed priming (6, 12 and 24 hours) and two chickpea genotypes (Jam and Kourosh). Analysis of variance indicated that seed priming had significant effect on germination indices (p ? 0.01). PEG affected germination indices more than KNO3. Prolonged priming duration for 24 hours increased speed of seed germination (p ? 0.05); however the germination indices did not significantly differ among chickpea genotypes. In field trials the effects of both seed priming and change in sowing date were assessed on yield in chickpea genotypes through a similar design (3×2×2 factorial) arranged in a complete randomized block design of four replications. Treatments were comprised of three kinds of priming solution (PEG, H2O and nonprimed or check), two sowing dates (March 1st and April 5th) along with the same chickpea genotypes. The chickpea traits were significantly affected by priming and sowing date treatments (p ? 0.05). First (early) sowing date significantly differed from the other date as to seed & biological yield, harvest index, number of pods per plant, seed no. per pod and 1000 seed weight. Primed seed sown early produced more seed and biological yields (p ? 0.05). Chickpea seed yield and yield components showed significant relationships. In general, the earlier sowing date (March 1st) prolonged the phenological stages of chickpea genotypes and resulted in more seed yield as well as yield components. The selection of proper seed priming treatments also led to improved germination indices and prolonged crop duration with more yields, thus higher yields.