Seed germination of four thyme species after short-term storage at low temperatures at several moisture contents
The effects of seed equilibration method prior to storage for one month at −18°C or at −160°C on germination percentage and T50 values were studied in six wild populations and three commercial accessions of four species of thyme (Thymus loscosii, T. mastichina, T. vulgaris and T. zygis). Seeds were equilibrated at 25°C in a 4%, 31%, 54% and 63% relative humidity (RH) atmosphere and at 15°C in a 15% RH atmosphere. Seed moisture contents before equilibration were similar among species (6.1-6.3%). After equilibration they ranged between 2.6% and 8.3% depending on the species and the equilibration method used. For the two storage temperatures, germination percentage only decreased with respect to control seeds (non-stored seeds) in one accession of T. zygis when seeds had been equilibrated at 31% RH and 25°C (5.8% moisture content, fresh weight basis). Influence of equilibration treatment on T50 values varied depending on the accession.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2004
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