Tea seeds are mostly reported to be recalcitrant, i.e. desiccation-sensitive, because drying to 20-30% moisture content on fresh weight basis (MC) results in mortality. Fully-mature seeds, collected at the time of natural dispersal (mid-November) from Hangzhou, China, were cold-stratified
at 4°C for two month and dried in air-tight containers containing silica gel (1:5 ratio). The MC of the seeds at the time of collection and after twomonth cold-stratification was 43 and 37%, respectively. These two-month cold-stratified seeds were dried to 7.9% with 71.7% viability, indicating
the seeds were not recalcitrant. Two month cold-stratified seeds dried to 7.9% and stored at -20°C did not germinate after three months. Seed survival at this moisture content was above 70% at various low temperatures when no storage was applied, i.e. if they were warmed immediately, except
at liquid nitrogen, where only 56.7% germination was obtained. However, two-month storage resulted in significant viability loss at low temperatures, whereas seeds stored in liquid nitrogen for one week and three months had 26.7 and 23.3% germination, respectively, suggesting that some seeds
are able to survive cryopreservation.
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Document Type: Research Article
December 1, 2017
This article was made available online on October 12, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Camellia sinensis seeds are desiccation-tolerant but do not store well at sub-zero temperatures".
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