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Development in Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). I. The Influence of Temperature on Seed Germination and Seedling Emergence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 October 2008

P. Q. Craufurd
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Kano Station, Sabo Bakin Zuwo Road, PMB 3112, Kano, Nigeria
R. H. Ellis
The University of Reading, Department of Agriculture, Plant Environment Laboratory, Cutbush Lane, Shinfield, Reading RG2 9AD, Berkshire, England
R. R. J. Summerfield
The University of Reading, Department of Agriculture, Plant Environment Laboratory, Cutbush Lane, Shinfield, Reading RG2 9AD, Berkshire, England
L. Menin
The University of Reading, Department of Agriculture, Plant Environment Laboratory, Cutbush Lane, Shinfield, Reading RG2 9AD, Berkshire, England


The base (Tb), optimum (To) and ceiling (Tce) temperature for 50% seed germination and seedling emergence, and the thermal time at sub-optimal temperatures (θ1), were examined in experiments with a range of cowpea genotypes from different habitats and latitudes. There was substantial genotypic variation in seed germination for Tb and To, but not for Tce. There was no evidence that genotypes from semi-arid habitats had higher values of To or Tce, but estimates of Tb for seed germination were related to latitude and were highest in genotypes originating from close to the equator. The significance of these responses as a component of developmental plasticity in relation to the adaptation of cowpeas is discussed.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1996

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