Vol. 10(8), pp. 298-301, 30 April, 2015
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
Scientific Research and Essays
Full Length Research Paper
Enhancing germination and seedling vigour in cluster
bean by organic priming
S. Ambika* and K. Balakrishnan
Department of Seed Science and Technology, Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai- 625 104, India.
Received 25 February; Accepted 12 April, 2015
The experiment was conducted at Department of Seed Science and Technology, Agricultural College
and Research Institute, Madurai during 2014-2015, to find out the effect of organic seed priming with
cow urine at different concentrations. The cluster bean seeds were soaked for 3 h with different
concentrations viz., 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10% along with water and control (no treatment). The seed quality
parameters viz., speed of germination, germination, root length, shoot length, vigour index I, vigour
index II and dry matter production were evaluated. The best performance was observed in cow urine
(2%) by recording highest seed quality parameters. The percentage increase over control was 10.52,
8.16, 9.8, 8.0, 16.34, 15.36 and 7.8 for speed of germination, germination percentage, root length, shoot
length, vigour index I, vigour index II and dry matter production, respectively.
Key words: Bovine urines, cluster bean, pre sowing seed treatment, vigour index-germination.
Cluster bean [Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (L.) Taub]
(2n=14) is an under exploited leguminous vegetable
belonging to the family Fabaceae. It is commonly known
as Guar, Chavli kayi, Khurtti. Guar is grown in kharif
season in arid and semi arid regions of India. It is a
drought hardy, deep rooted, summer annual legume.
Guar is the most important and potential vegetable cum
industrial crop grown for its tender pods for vegetable
purpose and for endospermic gum (30 to 35%).
In India, cluster bean occupies an area of 2.20 million
ha with a production of 0.60 million tonnes (2005). In
North Indian states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and
Punjab it is mainly cultivated for guar gum production and
for forage, whereas in South India it is being cultivated for
vegetable purpose. From India, cluster bean is mainly
exported to USA, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Japan, and
France value at Rs. 200 million rupees annually (Sing et
al., 2009). Due to environmental concerns, there is an
urgent need to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and
pesticides in agriculture and horticulture and alternative
to chemicals are being sought to improve crop
establishment and health. One option is the use of
organics nutrients or growth regulators to seed or roots,
which may promote plant growth or provide diseases
control through a variety of mechanisms, including supply
of organic nutrients production of plant hormones,
*Corresponding author. E-mail: email@example.com.
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antibiotic or enzyme; induced systemic resistance; direct
parasitism of plant pathogen or deleterious micro-
organisms; or competition with pathogen for or nutrients.
Further, organic seed is a crucial link in the chin from
research to organic seed production and ultimate supply
of high quality seed at reasonable price to the
commercial seed producing farmers for promotion of
organic seed production. Hence, the safe and feasible
approach is the priming of seeds with organics which are
safe, eco friendly, economical and easily available.
Organic seed priming provides hardiness to high
temperature, low moisture especially in semi arid tropics.
It promotes faster germination, higher seedling vigour
leading to higher crop productivity. The main benefits of
organic seed treatments include increased phosphate
levels, nitrogen fixation and root development.
Cow urine contains about 1.0% nitrogen, traces of P2O5
and 1.0% of K2O. Approximately 2400 to 2500 L of urine
are produced per year per animal (Yawalker et al., 1996).
If this urine were not conserved, nitrogen in the urine,
which is mainly in the form of urea, would be quickly lost
as ammonia. It is also considered as a natural
disinfectant and pest repellent and forms the main
component of Panchagavya (an organic crop booster
prepared and sprayed by Indian farmers) (Tharmaraj et
al., 2011). Organic seeds priming is more affordable so
even small scale farmers can practice. Keeping into view
its importance as a vegetable and its adaptability to arid
drought conditions, there is need for its improvement for
yield. This can be achieved by maintaining plant
population by organic seed priming.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Genetically pure seeds of cluster bean (Pusa Navbahar) used for
the study. The experiment was conducted at Department of Seed
Science and Technology, Agricultural College and Research
Institute, Madurai during 2014. The seeds were treated with cow
urine at the concentration of 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10% along with water
and dry seed as control. Seeds were soaked for 3 h and shade
dried. The seeds were tested for the standard germination test
adopting between paper (BP) method as per the ISTA rules (Anon.,
1996). The germination room maintained at 25 ± 2oc temperature
and 90 ± 3 % RH. The seeds showing radical protrusion were
counted daily from third day after sowing until fourteenth day. The
speed of germination was calculated using the formula by Maguire
(1962). Hundred seeds were placed in between paper using four
replications and per cent germination was recorded. At the time of
germination count, ten normal seedlings were selected at random
from each replication and used for measuring the root length of
seedlings. Root length was measured from the point of attachment
of seed to the tip of primary root. The mean values were recorded
and expressed in centimeter. The seedlings used for measuring
root length were also used for measuring shoot length. The shoot
length was measured from the point of attachment of cotyledon to
the tip of the leaf and the mean values were recorded and
expressed in centimeter. Vigour index values were computed using
the following formula and the mean values were expressed in whole
number (Abdul-Baki and Anderson, 1973). Vigour index I =
Germination (%) × Total seedling length (cm) and vigour index II =.
Germination (%) × dry matter production (g/10 seedlings). The data
Ambika and Balakrishnan 299
from various experiments were analyzed statistically adopting the
procedure described by Panse and Sukhatme (1985). Wherever
necessary, the percentage values were transformed to arc sine
values before carrying out the statistical analysis.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
All the concentrations of cow urine increased the seed
quality parameters. Among the concentrations, seeds
primed with cow urine at 2% recorded increased speed of
germination (9.5), germination percentage (98%), root
length (14.47 cm), shoot length (16.05 cm), vigour index I
(2991), vigour index II (49.98) and dry matter production (
0.51 g/10 seedlings) compared to control (8.5, 90, 13.05,
14.75, 2502, 42.30 and 0.47) for speed of germination,
germination percentage, root length, shoot length, vigour
index I, vigour index II and dry matter production
Milch animal urine (cow / buffalo) contains about 1.0%
nitrogen, traces of P2O5 and 1.0% of K2O and
approximately 2400 to 2500 L of urine are produced per
year per animal (Yawalker et al., 1996). The reason for
increased seed physiological parameters observed in the
study may be due to the fact that bovine urine contains
physiologically active substances viz., growth regulators,
nutrients (Kamalam and Rajappan, 1989) and trace
elements (Munoz, 1988). Illango et al. (1999) reported
increased total chlorophyll content (1.80 mg/g fresh
weight) and soluble protein (2.78 mg/g) upon soaking
Albizia lebbeck seeds in cow urine in comparison to
check (1.66 and 2.5 mg/g). Significantly higher plant
height (74.21 cm), leaf dry weight, more number of tillers
(137.4) were recorded 60 days after sowing, higher leaf
area duration (2.47), higher straw yield (3388 kg / ha)
was recorded for wheat seeds soaked in 10% cow urine
(Shivamurthy, 2005).The cow’s urine treatment with 1: 10
concentration was found very suitable to treat seeds of
finger millet for good germination and seedling vigour.
Shankaranarayanan et al. (1994) also reported that
soaking of tamarind seeds in 10% cow urine or cow dung
solution for 24 h increased the germination and vigour
index as compared to that of untreated seeds. Our results
were in close conformity with the findings in Albizia
lebbeck (Ilango et al., 1999), jamun (Swamy et al., 1999),
asparagus (Misra et al., 2002), Shivamurthy (2005) in
wheat and Sivasubramaniyam et al. (2012) in pulses
(Tables 1 and 2; Figure 1).
It could be concluded that cow urine (2%) can be
recommended as organic seed priming for increasing the
vigour in cluster bean under rain fed ecosystem.
Conflict of Interest
The authors have not declared any conflict of interest.
300 Sci. Res. Essays
Table 1. Effect of organic seed priming with cow urine on speed of germination,
germination percentage and root length (cm) in cluster bean.
Speed of germination
Root length (cm)
Cow urine (2%)
(Figures in the parentheses are arc sine transformed values), **- Significant at 5% level.
Table 2. Effect of organic seed priming with cow urine on shoot length (cm), vigour
index I and vigour index II in cluster bean.
Shoot length (cm)
Vigour index I
Vigour index II
Cow urine (2%)
**- Significant at 5% level.
Figure 1. Effect of organic seed priming with cow urine on dry matter production (g/10 seedlings) in cluster
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