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Free Content Narrowing of the Critical Hydration Window for Cryopreservation of Salix Caprea Seeds Following Ageing and a Reduction in Vigour

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We investigated the effects of desiccation, rehydration and cryopreservation on the viability of seeds of a wild mountain species and seven clones of Salix caprea L. Seeds responded differently to all treatments depending on clone, seed initial moisture content (MC) and seed vigour. Fresh seeds of two randomly selected clones tolerated desiccation to MC 8.5-9.6% FW (0.09-0.11 gH2O g-1DW) without any noticeable loss in viability and were successfully cryopreserved at MCs ranging from 8.5 to 23.4% (0.09-0.30 gH2O g-1DW). Storage at 5°C for approximately 10 weeks significantly reduced the viability of seed lots of a wild species and of three S. caprea clones, whilst viability of seeds of four other clones remained unaffected. Since all clones tested were genetically derived from one tree, this variation is unlikely to be of maternal origin. Most probably paternal x environmental factors have influenced seed behavior during desiccation and storage. As viability decreased due to partial ageing, seeds became more susceptible to desiccation stress. When seeds of three clones were cryopreserved, the hydration window for survival was wider for highly vigorous seeds (c. 0.05-0.28 gH2O g-1DW) than for seeds with intermediate vigour (c. 0.10-0.24 gH2O g-1DW) and low vigour (c. 0.20-0.37 gH2O g-1DW). Rehydration to MC above 0.15 gH2O g-1DW improved germination of low vigour seeds, both in controls and after cryopreservation. In contrast, cryopreservation of high vigour seeds rehydrated to MCs above 0.11 gH2O g-1DW resulted in a sharp decrease in normal seedling production. Whilst no effect of cryogenic temperature on germination and normal seedling production was observed when seeds of seven clones were cryopreserved within their hydration windows, the results indicate the need to account for seed lot vigour when designing cryopreservation protocols.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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  • CryoLetters is a bimonthly international journal for low temperature sciences, including cryobiology, cryopreservation or vitrification of cells and tissues, chemical and physical aspects of freezing and drying, and studies involving ecology of cold environments, and cold adaptation

    The journal publishes original research reports, authoritative reviews, technical developments and commissioned book reviews of studies of the effects produced by low temperatures on a wide variety of scientific and technical processes, or those involving low temperature techniques in the investigation of physical, chemical, biological and ecological problems.

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