Longevity of maize (Zea mays L.) seeds during low input storage under ambient conditions of southwestern Nigeria

I.O. Daniel


Seed longevity of two commercial hybrid maize (Zea mays L.) varieties (‘Oba-Super’ and ‘Suwan-1’) were evaluated under simulated low-input seed storage systems typical of the tropics. Saturated salt solutions of ZnCl2, CaCl2, Ca(NO3)2, NaBr, NH4NO3, NH4Cl, and KCl in air-tight containers at 31±4°C provided relative humidity (RH) levels of 15.6, 28.7, 52.5, 56, 60, 75.4, and 80.5% respectively for storage. Monthly germination data for a 12-month storage period were analyzed using the Probit model. Survival curves confirmed a normal distribution pattern for most RH treatments. Seed longevity estimates (p50 or seed half-viability period and σ or distribution of seed mortality in time) were significantly different among the RH treatments. The two seed kinds equilibrating at 15.6±0.95 and 28.7±1.51% RH had p50 values of ~600 days representing a 10-fold increase in the estimates of seed longevity compared to seeds stored at >60% RH and 31±4°C (corresponds to the ambient microenvironmental conditions in southwestern Nigeria). Implicit in this are potential gains in seed longevity for dry and ultra dry seed storage under tropical temperature regimes.


Probit analysis; Seed conservation; Tropical seed storage.

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A KAU publication [CODEN: JTAGEI; ISSN 0971-636X; eISSN 0973-5399]