Peter Oni Idowu

  • Designation: Professor, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management. Federal University Wukari
  • Country: Nigeria
  • Title: Effect of Seed Sources and Poly Pot Sizes on Early Seedlings Growth and Development in Jatropha curcas L in Taraba State, Nigeria


Prof Peter I. Oni is a British-trained forest ecology and conservation geneticist and a seasoned forester with professional experiences spanning over 30 years. He is a fellow of the Forestry Association of Nigeria (FFAN). He obtained his B.Sc and M.Sc from the premier University, University of Ibadan in (1986 and 1992). He later proceeded to the University of Wales, Bangor, United Kingdom, in 1993 and bagged his Ph.D. in Forest Ecology and Conservation Genetics. By 2015, he became a Professor at the Federal University Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria. He supervised several undergraduate and postgraduate students, with over 65 peer-reviewed scientific publications to his credit (onshore and offshore). Over the years, he has attracted several research grants within and outside the country. He belongs to several professional bodies, including the Ecological Society of Nigeria (ECOSON) and the Science Association of Nigeria (SAN). He is an external examiner to several Nigerian universities and research institutes and a consultant at national and international levels, including FAO and World Bank-Assisted National Fadama projects. 


Understanding genetic variation patterns in forest tree species is the cornerstone to matching a well-adapted seed source to the right physiographic region. Jatropha curcas L., a tropical herbaceous species family (Euphobiaceae), has recently attracted tremendous research attention following its commercial oil and degraded forest landscape reclamation potentials. The species was investigated for its genetic variation using seeds from different agro-ecological ranges of the species in Taraba State, Nigeria. The silvicultural study assessed three seed sources and three pot sizes on early seedlings' growth and development. The State was stratified into three ecological zones representing each seed source (Jalingo S1, Northern Guinea), (Gassol S2, Central Guinea) and (Wukari S3, Southern Guinea). Twenty-five (25) ripe fruits at the rate of 5 fruits-1 tree were collected directly from the forest floor from 5 different mother trees, producing 75 fruits for the three sources. Seeds were extracted separately based on the sources, and 30 seeds were sown source-1 in 3 plastic sieves containing sterilized river sand. All plastic sieves were placed under a mist chamber, watered daily, and monitored for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, the 15 most vigorous seedlings source-1 were selected, and 45 were used. The 45 seedlings were randomly potted into three different poly pot sizes; small (P1), medium (P2), and large (P3) (3x3x5 factorial design. Seedlings' growth morphological parameters (total seedlings height, diameter, and number of leaves) were collected fortnightly for 12 weeks and statistically analyzed. Findings showed that the Wukari seed source (S3) attained 70% germination at 14 days. For all the morphological parameters, optimum growth performance for seedling height (21.17cm), seedlings diameter (2.59cm), and leaf number (6.64) were observed from seed source (S3) and least from Jalingo (S1). The pot sizes effect showed optimum performance in large pot size (P3) followed by medium and least in small pot size. Seed sources and pot sizes interaction was significant (p.>0.05). Wukari seed source (S3) and large pot size (P3) are recommended for mass seedling production in the species.

Keywords: Jatropha curcas, seed source, pot size, morphological variables, nursery evaluation 

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