The African Blackwood (D. melanoxylon) Seedling Initiation Technicality, (Germinability and Rootability)

In Dalbergia melanoxylon (African Blackwood), a study was conducted to compare the ability to form seedlings between seed germination in the soil, seed germination in the Murashge and Skoog medium (MS), and cutting rooting to form seedlings. D. melanoxylon, an overharvested species, has a highly valued wood but is not propagated. This is why, in recent years, some attempts have been made to conduct research that can increase seedling development. Around 2 kilogrammes of seeds were purchased from TTSA, and cuttings (root, softwood, and hardwood stem cuttings) were collected from the forest for an experiment at the University of Dar es Salaam’s Botany Department in 2010. For soil germination, three treatments (Low, Median, and High moisture level) were used, while for MS germination, two treatments were used (Half strength and Full strength). 35 percent, 70 percent alcohol, and 2.6 percent sodium hypochlorite were used as sterilising reagents. The sterilisation times were 10, 20, and 30 minutes. Softwood, semi-hardwood, hardwood, and root cuttings were propagated using soil inoculated with mycorrhizae in a non-mist propagator. Germination percentage, moisture level, MS concentration, sterilising reagent concentrations and time used to sterilise the seeds, propagator temperature and humidity, and cuttings sprouting percentage were all reported. As defined by Zar, [1], standard procedures were used to analyse and compare germination and rooting data. Germination was highest in the soil at 21%, while it was lowest in the MS at 19.8%. Rooting was 100% in softwood cuttings and 37% in root cuttings, while semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings did not root at all. Cuttings suggest cutting of established trees, which is not recommended, whereas the two germination mediums (soil and MS) did not vary significantly. To improve seedling development of D. melanoxylon for propagation, more research is required, especially genetic transformation of the species for easy access in tissue culture.

Author (s) Details

Dr. Washa B. Washa
University of Dar es Salaam – Mkwawa College (MUCE), P.O.Box. Private Bag, Iringa, Tanzania.

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