Seed desiccation tolerance and storage behaviour in Cordeauxia edulis
Seeds of yeheb, Cordeauxia edulis, constitute an important food resource for people in the Horn of Africa. However, seeds are known to remain viable for only a short period after dispersal. To classify the desiccation tolerance of C. edulis seeds, three experiments were conducted with seeds dried in silica gel or over sulphuric acid in sealed glass containers. Further, two experiments were conducted to identify optimal conditions for storage with seeds stored over sulphuric acid up to six months. The first year's experiments showed reduced viability after dehydration to 12% mc, and only 4-9% survival after storage. The second year, using seeds of better quality, germination was 88% after dehydration to 8% mc. In addition, seeds at 10-12% mc stored for six months at 16°C had a 95% germination rate, compared with 60% for those stored at 6°C. In a third experiment dehydration to 5% mc resulted in a 20% reduction in viability. We conclude that seeds of C. edulis are intermediate in storage behaviour, but with a high desiccation tolerance. Also, it is possible to store high quality seeds for longer periods at good conditions (moderate temperature, 10-15% mc).
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2007-10-01
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