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Effects of dimethyl sulfoxide concentration, pre-cooling and cooling rate on cryopreservation of hydrated lettuce seeds

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Dry seeds of Lactuca sativa (iceberg lettuce) and L. sativa cv. Hance salad that had imbibed water for 40 hours at 4°C (to moisture contents of 68 ± 3.9 and 62 ± 2.9%, respectively) followed by imbibition in 15 or 35% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) for eight hours, were cooled to various sub-zero temperatures (>-40°C) at 3 or 60°C hour-1 in a programmable freezer. After cooling to the various low temperatures, seeds were either thawed directly in a water bath at 40°C or plunged into liquid nitrogen for one week before thawing at 40°C. Viability was assessed as the number of seeds that germinated at 21°C. The ice formation temperature, which was detected using a thermocouple during cooling (in the range of -12 to -40°C), did not affect subsequent germination following liquid nitrogen storage. The higher concentration of DMSO was toxic whilst the lower concentration was essential for higher seed survival after both sub-zero and liquid nitrogen storage. Survival of both cultivars was best achieved after pre-cooling to -25 to -40°C. Pre-cooling at 3°C hour-1 was effective for iceberg lettuce seeds but not for those of L. sativa Hance salad, implying a cultivar-specific effect. These findings provide important insights into the interaction of water content, pre-cooling, cooling rate and cryoprotectant concentration on seed storage.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Biothermal Technology, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, Shanghai 200093;, Email: [email protected] 2: Institute of Biothermal Technology, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, Shanghai 200093

Publication date: August 1, 2014

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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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