Germination of water melon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunberg) Matsumura and Nakai, Curcubitaceae] in lead polluted petri dish


  • Matthew Chidozie Ogwu Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Abuja, Gwagwalada, Abuja FCT, Nigeria; Ph. ++234 8060428048, e-mail:
  • Anthonia Odinita Chime Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin
  • Moses Edwin Osawaru Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin
  • Rachel Emoekpere Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin



Citrullus lanatus, water melon, lead, environment, pollution, germination


Citrullus lanatus (Thunberg) Matsumura and Nakai (water melon) is a fruit vegetable appreciated for its ability to quench
taste in tropical and sub-tropical regions. This present study is aimed at assessing the germination of water melon seeds
in lead polluted petri dishes. The water melon fruits were collected from Benin City, Nigeria and labeled variety A, B
and C based on morphological differences. Five treatment levels of lead (0 ppm, 5 ppm, 10 ppm, 15 ppm and 20 ppm)
were used to grow viable seeds in lead polluted petri dishes. The plant showed different degree of response to the pollutant.
The germination of seeds began on the fourth day in all the varieties. The highest germination rate was observed
in 10 ppm in varieties A and C with 73.33% while in variety B, control had the highest germination percentage
(93.33%). The lowest germination percentage was observed in 20 ppm for all the varieties of water melon assessed in
the study. In the shoot length, 15 ppm had the value of 3.02 on day 13 for variety A while 10 ppm had the highest value
for variety B and C with 2.72 cm and 3.09 cm respectively. Similar result was also obtained for the root length for variety
A as the 15 ppm had the highest value of 3.39 cm. It was 10 ppm that had highest root length value for variety B and
C with 2.95 cm and 2.91 cm respectively. It may be suggested from this study that at low concentration of lead, C. lanatus
seeds can initiate growth but as the concentration increases, the germination and growth can be affected. More so,
it exposes the risk associated with lead and lead compounds in our environment. As some Cucurbit seeds can accumulate
these compounds in their tissue as they grow in polluted environment posing potential treats to other members of
the food chain.


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