Fungi associated with seeds of three legume species in Jamaica and seed germination at harvest and after storage

Flora V. Chisholm, Phyllis L. Coates-Beckford


The health of bean, cowpea, and groundnut seeds collected throughout Jamaica, was assessed by estimating their germination percentage and the abundance of seed-borne fungi when harvested and also after storage in different environments. Germination was 80% in bean, 61 % in cowpea, and 31 % in groundnut. Thirty-nine species of fungi representing 20 genera were detected, 38, 32, and 14 species being from bean, cowpea, and groundnut, respectively. The number of fungi detected in selected samples of the parental and Fl generations was similar for each of the three legumes. Decreases in germination and increases in the occurrence of some storage fungi occurred when seeds were stored at 28°C rather than at 5°C and in polythene rather than in paper bags at the former temperature. Examination of 200 bean seeds showed that 94. 7% of the fungi were located in the testa, 68.4% in the cotyledons, and 31.6% in the embryo axes.


Phaseolus vulgaris; Vigna unguiculata; Arachis hypogaea; Gennination; Fungi; Storage

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