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Strategies for field collection of recalcitrant seeds and zygotic embryonic axes of the tropical tree, Trichilia dregeana Sond.

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After aril and testa removal, high-quality Trichilia dregeana seeds dusted with a benzimadole fungicide were successfully stored for 91 d (13 weeks) in the hydrated condition at 16°C and when set to germinate, showed no associated fungal proliferation. In contrast in a poor harvest year, seeds with which fungal association was ubiquitous, had all lost viability and the associated fungi proliferated within 28 d. Use of systemic fungicides with or without other measures to curtail the mycoflora, was of only limited benefit; storage at 6°C was lethal and where fungal activity was curtailed, bacterial degradation was rife. As an alternative to seed storage, the investigation then focused on axis collection for cryopreservation. Two approaches were tested. In the first, three treatments were used involving 72 h storage of seeds in 1.6% solutions of potassium chloride, potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate, both with and without previous surface sterilization. The most successful treatment, potassium chloride storage following surface sterilisation, eliminated the fungus from 80% of the axes, but bacterial contamination was evident. The other involved an in vitro field collection of excised axes, followed by culture on medium with systemic fungicides and an antibiotic and it resulted in 85% germinated axes that were entirely free of both fungal and bacterial contaminants.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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