Monitoring the Seed Health in Conventional Long-Term Ex Situ Storage
Plant And Animal Genetic Resources Preservation Research Unit
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
This research will continue an ongoing program to study the longevity of seed viability in long-term conventional (-20C) ex-situ storage. Results from this study will generate data and manuscripts which will help those storing seed at genebanks throughout the U.S., including USDA genebanks, as well as international genebanks better estimate when germplasm needs attention to prevent the loss of valuable genetic resources.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Small samples of seed stored at -20C for varying periods of time at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) will be removed from storage and germinated to estimate seed viability. Germination tests will be preformed using the American Association of Seed Analysts (AOSA) seed germination rules as a guideline to ensure future tests can be compared to the current tests. The germination data will be combined with the initial and any subsequent tests done on these seed samples to derive an estimate of when seed viability for different species start to decline in conventional long-term ex situ storage conditions. A minimum of fifty crop species will be tested over the course of this project. Critical factors in selecting accessions to evaluate will be the time since the last germination tests, the crop and accessions with sufficient previous viability data to aid in developing deterioration curves for that crop species.
In calendar year 2011 monitor tests were performed on 1,190 samples, and through June in FY12, 2,117 samples had been monitor tested. This project has been greatly beneficial as it has contributed to ~20% of the monitor tests done for the collection.