Seed Storage. Seed longevity in storage is a function of: Type of species. Initial seed quality (production and conditioning) Storage environment

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1 Seed longevity in storage is a function of: Type of species Initial seed quality (production and conditioning) Storage environment

2 Species can display orthodox or recalcitrant seed behavior. Orthodox seeds tolerate maturation drying and can remain viable for years. Recalcitrant seeds do not tolerate maturation drying and are short-lived seeds.

3 Orthodox seeds Medium-lived seeds (3 15 years). Long-lived seeds (> 15 years).

4 Orthodox seeds Many of the longest lived seeds have hard (water impermeable) seed coats. Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) seeds from a Manchurian bog have been documented to be over 400 years-old.

5 Orthodox seeds The Beal study on long-term survival of buried seeds was started at Michigan State University in Three species from Verbascum and Malva showed viable seeds after 100 years. Verbascum

6 Relative storability index Crop Category 1 (1 to 2 yr.) Vegetable Category 2 (3 to 5 yr.) Category 3 ( >5 yr.) Green bean Broccoli & cabbage Beet Lettuce Sweet corn Tomato Onion Pepper Cucumber Melon Pea

7 Storage conditions Seed longevity is improved by storing seeds at low temperature and low moisture content. Rule of thumb for seed storage Seeds lose half their storage life: 1. For each 1% increase in seed moisture between 5 and 14%. 2. For each 5 o C increase in storage temperature between 0 and 50 o C.

8 Pattern of viability and vigor loss in storage. During seed storage, the vigor of a seed lot is reduced prior to seed viability as indicated by standard germination. 100 Percentage standard germination seed vigor Time

9 Types of seed storage Sealed containers Open storage Conditioned storage

10 Used to keep out moisture Types include: Aluminum or plastic cans Seed Storage Sealed Containers

11 Used to keep out moisture Types include: Aluminum or plastic cans Aluminum pouches Seed Storage Sealed Containers

12 Used to keep out moisture Types include: Aluminum or plastic cans Aluminum pouches Plastic bottles Seed Storage Sealed Containers

13 Used to keep out moisture Types include: Aluminum or plastic cans Aluminum pouches Plastic bottles Laminated paper bags Seed Storage Sealed Containers

14 Used to keep out moisture Types include: Aluminum or plastic cans Aluminum pouches Plastic bottles Laminated paper bags Waxed boxes Seed Storage Sealed Containers

15 Open Storage Does not have temperature or relative humidity control.

16 Open Storage Cheapest type of storage. Needs basic protection from water, contaminating agents (herbicides), and rodents.

17 Conditioned Storage Conditioned storage as temperature control. Commercial storage facilities held at <10 o C.

18 Conditioned Storage Humidity may be controlled below 50% RH or seeds stored in sealed containers. Conditioned storage is used for high value seeds.

19 Conserving genetic resources Gene banks are facilities for longterm storage of seeds. The International Board for Plant Genetic Resources is a network of gene banks. The Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) is a data base for descriptions of genetic resources (mostly crops). The Millennium Seed project is an effort to conserve genetic resources world-wide.

20 Conserving genetic resources The National Seed Storage Laboratory is the major repository of seeds in North America.

21 Conserving genetic resources Seeds are held under conditioned storage and tested for viability every 5 to 10 years. Most storage is at -18 o C (0 o F) in foil bags, but some seeds are cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen (-196 o C).

22 Conserving genetic resources The National Seed Storage Laboratory routine storage. Seeds stored in foil-lined paper bags and bar coded for identification and tracking. Storage in foil bags.

23 Conserving genetic resources Seeds are stored underground in movable shelves under temperature and humidity control.

24 Conserving genetic resources Seed cryopreservation Liquid nitrogen being added to the storage container. A storage tube filled with seeds.

25 Conserving genetic resources Seed cryopreservation Seeds are stored in special containers (dewers) that are very well insolated

26 Seeds are packaged into smaller containers for retail sales.

27 Seed are most often sold by weight. Seed Storage

28 Computer programs keep track of seed inventories and to track sales.

29 Automated seed dispenser

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