Submitted to: Seed Conservation: Turning Science into Practice
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2003
Publication Date: 6/1/2003
Citation: Walters, C. 2003 Optimizing seed banking procedures. 36:723-743. In R.D. Smith, J.B. Dickic, S.H. Linington, H.W. Pritchard and R.J. Probert (eds) Seed Conservation: turning science into practice. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London. Interpretive Summary: Genebanking is increasingly used as a conservation strategy. Methods used to genebank seeds vary considerably among institutions worldwide. This paper studies some of the strengths and limitations of various scenarios in terms of the conservation potential and economic cost.
Technical Abstract: This paper outlines factors important for genebanking. Optimizing genebanking procedures is often interpreted as storing seeds under environmental conditions that give them maximum longevity. This paper argues that even this narrow view of optimized genebanking is difficult to define or predict and that the interacting factors that contribute to seed lifespans are not completely understood. The concept of optimum procedures to bank seeds should be broadened and based on the intended use of the germplasm as well as other ex situ conservation steps, particularly collection and regeneration schemes. Considerations of the costs of alternative strategies and changes in the genetic heterogeneity of the seed sample with different storage conditions are critical to the development of optimized protocols.