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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research » Research » Research Project #437949

Research Project: Longevity of Seeds Stored for the SOS BLM Program

Location: Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research

Project Number: 3012-21000-017-003-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Mar 3, 2020
End Date: Mar 2, 2025

To ensure better stewardship of seed collections in the BLM Seeds of Success(SOS) program, National Laboratory for Genetic Resource Preservation (NLGRP) will use recently developed methods to estimate seed longevity characteristics of selected species collected in BLM's - SOS program. Methods will test early or non-invasive biological markers of aging and longevity in seeds that have been stored for up to 20 years. Recent research shows that RNA integrity (RIN), as well as other biochemical indicators, reliably measure seed aging and predict seed longevity in a variety of agronomic species. We propose to test the applicability of these tests on BLM's SOS seeds.

In part 1 of the proposed experiments, we will compare standard methods of detecting deterioration (i.e., lost germination potential) with a panel of newly-available measurements (such as RIN, crystallization tendency of triacylglycerols (TAGc), and darkening of seed color) for SOS accessions that have been stored for 20 years or more at NLGRP, ARS in Pulman, WA and the Bend Seed Extractory, OR. This will provide an estimate of the stability of seed quality during storage in the freezer and refrigerator. In part 2, we will acquire fresh or near fresh seeds and subject them to a simulated aging treatment of dry heat. This will enable us to correlate speed that biochemical parameters (e.g., RINslope) with the speed that germination changes (1/P50, with P50 = seed half-life). We plan to work with 100 to 200 species.