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ARS Home » Research » Research Project #433285

Research Project: Monitoring Long Term Preservation of NPGS Base Seed Collection

Location: Plant and Animal Genetic Resources Preservation

Project Number: 3012-21000-015-21-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2017
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

This research will study the longevity of seed viability in long-term conventional (-20C) ex­situ storage. Results from this study will generate data 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.

Small samples of seed (50 seeds) stored at -20C for varying periods of time in the base collection at the National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation (NLGRP) will be removed from storage and germinated to estimate seed viability. Germination tests will be performed 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. Critical factors in selecting accessions to evaluate will be the time since the last germination tests, estimated longevity of species and number of seeds stored.