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Longevity of Nicotiana seeds conserved at low temperatures in ex situ genebanks

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Seeds of Nicotiana tabacum and N. rustica stored for up to 38 years at temperatures of -15 / -18°C (IPK, Gatersleben, Germany – experiment 1) and 33 years at 0°C (IHAR, Radzików, Poland – experiment 2) were germinated using a Jacobsen apparatus at a temperature of 30 ± 2°C. Seven days after sowing, the percentage of seedlings exhibiting a normal appearance was scored. Variation in germination was compared with initial viabilities (historic data). In addition, a logistic regression analysis was used to model the proportion of seed lots (accessions) that had germination higher than 75% over time. After 38 years, this proportion was 60% in Experiment 1 but less than 10% in Experiment 2, even though the initial viability levels in the two experiments were high and very similar. The reduced seed longevity obtained in Experiment 2 might not be due to higher storage temperature alone.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2014

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