Growth inhibition as a viable technique to enhance the storage of synthetic seeds of cocoa (Theobroma cocoa L.)
Study was conducted to enhance storage life of cocoa (Theobroma cocoa L.) seeds through encapsulation and germination inhibition at College of Forestry, Kerala, India. The extracted embryonic axes of the seeds were encapsulated with calcium alginate and kept under different storage media alone as well as in combination with osmolytes under varying levels of relative humidity. Embryonic axes with quarter potion of cotyledon were ideal for preparation of synthetic seeds. Among different storage media, greater longevity and viability were observed in ½ MS media while least longevity was observed in dry cotton. Maximum longevity of 70 days was observed in synthetic seeds stored in cotton with 250 mM sorbitol. Longevity was less than 10 days in dry cotton due to absence of moisture content. The incorporation of MS media in the encapsulation reduced the longevity of synthetic seeds. In addition, MS media was found to reduce the activity of inhibitor. Addition sobitol (250 mM; 500 mM) in the encapsulation media enhanced longevity to 65 days. Duration of desiccation was positively correlated with seed longevity. Synthetic seeds stored with wet cotton and 250 mM sorbitol for 55 days and transferred to wet cotton for germination had longevity of 89 days with 80% germination. The results of present study indicate that it is possible to enhance the storage life of cocoa seeds from two weeks to three months by encapsulation and altering storage environment.
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