Abstract— Effects of different water qualities (WQ1– WQ5) of varying chlorine contents were tested on the growth and germination of four varieties of cowpea (Vignaunguiculata) IT03k 131-2 (v1), IT99k -573-1-1(v2), UAM09 1046-6-1 (v3) and UAM09 1055-6 (v4). The experimental design was factored using Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with three (3) replicates for each treatment of the five (5) water qualities for four (4) cowpea varieties. Growth parameters, germination rate, seedling vigor indices and chlorophyll content were measured. The interactions of cowpea variety and water quality had no significant effect on the any growth parameter tested (p>0.05). Variety factor was largely insignificant (p>0.05) with minor exceptions. Water quality factor had significant effects on all growth parameters of cowpea (p<0.05). Germination rate was highest in pond water (no chlorine) but least in disinfected water when10g and 20g of chlorine were applied. Percentage germination recorded the high values of 98.6% and 95.8% in pond and river water respectively. Water-treated plant without additional chlorine had the same germination with river water (95.8%). 10gCl and 20gCl added to disinfected water reduced cowpea germination to 10.1% and 0.5% respectively. Chlorination had significant effects on seedling height from 7 day to 28 day after planting (p<0.05). Seedlings treated with disinfected water were the tallest at 28 day after planting (18.1cm) followed by river and pond water (16.2cm and 16.1cm respectively). Heights of seedlings reduced drastically to 0.5cm on addition of 10g and 20g of chlorine. The two best vigour indices were found among seedlings treated with pond water (1186) and disinfected water (1172). Vigour were significantly reduced when seedlings were treated with additional chlorination (p<0.05). The same trend was observed in the germination speed indices of seedlings. Shoot and root weight were also reduced by chlorine. Disinfected water +10g of chlorine and disinfected water +20g of chlorine recorded zero weight (0.000g). The highest chlorophyll content was found in the leaf of plant treated with disinfected water (1.799) followed by river water (1.658) and pond water (1.402). No chlorophyll test was conducted on plants treated with additional chlorine as they died off before maturity when treated with DFW+10gcl and DFW+20gcl. As a result, normal disinfection yielded the same result as pond and river water having no significant effect on the growth parameters evaluated. However, additional chlorination (DFW+10gcl and DFW+20gcl) significantly affected the cowpea cultivars (p<0.05).Therefore, municipal water treated with chlorine for drinking should be considered safe for irrigating the crop. However, high chlorine concentrations adversely affect the crop and this outcome may also be applicable to other commercially cultivated crops of huge importance to the economy.
Keywords— Cowpea, Chlorine, Water quality, Growth parameters.
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