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Quantitative response of the longevity of seed of twelve crops to temperature and moisture in hermetic storage

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Seeds of 39 seed lots of a total of twelve different crops were stored hermetically in a wide range of air-dry environments (2-25% moisture content at 0-50°C), viability assessed periodically, and the seed viability equation constants estimated. Within a species, estimates of the constants which quantify absolute longevity (KE ) and the relative effects on longevity of moisture content (CW ) and temperature (CH and CQ ) did not differ (P >0.05 to P >0.25) among lots. Comparison among the 12 crops provided variant estimates of KE and CW (P<0.01), but common values of CH and CQ (0.0322 and 0.000454, respectively, P >0.25).

Maize (Zea mays) provided the greatest estimate of KE (9.993, s.e.=0.456), followed by sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) (9.381, s.e. 0.428), pearl millet (Pennisetum typhoides) (9.336, s.e.=0.408), sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) (8.988, s.e.=0.387), African rice (Oryza glaberrima) (8.786, s.e.=0.484), wheat (Triticum aestivum) (8.498, s.e.=0.431), foxtail millet (Setaria italica) (8.478, s.e.=0.396), sugarcane (Saccharum sp.) (8.454, s.e.=0.545), finger millet (Eleusine coracana) (8.288, s.e.=0.392), kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum) (8.138, s.e.=0.418), rice (Oryza sativa) (8.096, s.e.=0.416) and potato (Solanum tuberosum) (8.037, s.e.=0.397). Similarly, estimates of CW were ranked maize (5.993, s.e.=0.392), pearl millet (5.540, s.e.=0.348), sorghum (5.379, s.e.=0.365), potato (5.152, s.e.=0.347), sugar beet (4.969, s.e.=0.328), sugar cane (4.964, s.e.=0.518), foxtail millet (4.829, s.e.=0.339), wheat (4.836, s.e.=0.366), African rice (4.727, s.e.=0.416), kodo millet (4.435, s.e.=0.360), finger millet (4.345, s.e.=0.336) and rice (4.246, s.e.=0.355).

The application of these constants to long-term seed storage is discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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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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