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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Monitoring the Seed Health in Conventional Long-Term Ex Situ Storage

Location: Plant And Animal Genetic Resources Preservation Research Unit

2011 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.


3.Progress Report

In 2011, Colorado State University (CSU) Seed Lab performed monitor germination tests on 3,624 samples. During this calendar year, the focus was on Glycine, Oryza, Hordeum, Sorghum, Solanum (tomato and potato), Festuca, Vigna and Avena. These genera represented 89% of the samples tested by the CSU lab. The monitor tests done by the CSU lab represented 65% of all monitor tests done at NCGRP in 2011. ADODR monitoring for this project is done via email, phone calls, and meetings.


Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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