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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Longevity of Seeds Stored in a Genebank: Species Characteristics

Authors
item WALTERS, CHRISTINA
item Wheeler, Lana
item Grotenhuis, Judith

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 28, 2004
Publication Date: November 2, 2004
Citation: Walters, C.T., Wheeler, L.J., Grotenhuis, J.A. 2004. Longevity of seeds stored in a genebank: species characteristics. Proceedings of CSSA Annual Meetings, Seattle, Washington October 31 - September 11, 2004.

Technical Abstract: Seed genebanks maintain genetic resources within seeds over decades or centuries. The aging rate characteristic of a seed species provides essential guidelines for storage conditions, monitoring and regeneration needs of the genebank. This paper consolidates germination data from 42,000 accessions of seeds representing 276 species within the USDA National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) collection. Seeds were stored for about 40 years at 5C and -18C and near optimal moisture conditions. Germination time courses that represent average performance of the species were fit to Avrami kinetics in order to calculate the time at which germination characteristically declines to 50% (P50). Values of P50 calculated here correlated with other longevity surveys reported in the literature for seeds stored under controlled conditions. Some plant families had characteristically short-(e.g. Apiaceae and Brassicaceae) or long-(e.g. Malvaceae and Chenopodiaceae) lived seeds. Also, seeds from species that originated from some areas had characteristically short-(e.g. Europe) or long-(e.g. South Asia and Australia) shelf lives. The analyses provide general information on the storage behavior of species. This information will provide genebank operators a biological basis to prioritize processing procedures.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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