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Pressure – time dependency of vacuum degassing as a rapid method for viability assessment using tetrazolium chloride: a comparative study of 17 Pinus species

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Vacuum degassing of seeds in tetrazolium chloride (TZ) solution has been proposed as an alternative and rapid method for assessing pine seed viability. In this study, we determined the effects of both suction level and the subsequent period of stain development at 30°C, on the viability estimates for Pinus caribaea and P. pinea. Our results demonstrated that three, 10 min cycles of degassing increased viability estimates, with the highest suction level we applied (96 kPa) being the most effective. In addition, at 96 kPa of suction the subsequent period of stain development could be reduced to 3 h whilst still retaining an equivalent estimate of viability to both a standard ISTA TZ test (18 h at 30°C) and germination level. Subsequently, for a further 17 Pinus seed lots, the estimate of viability from three cycles of degassing at 96 kPa followed by 3 h of stain development, was compared with both an 18 h ISTA test and germination. These results indicated that compared to germination levels, degassing provided an equivalent or improved estimate of viability to the ISTA method. Consequently, the application of degassing at 96 kPa, followed by 3 h of stain development at 30°C should allow rapid and reliable viability assessment for a wide range of Pinus species.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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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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