seed vitality after storage

Jonathan B. Marder MARDER at
Thu Nov 2 01:29:28 EST 1995

In article <DHCHzM.Jxs at>,
   mal at (Mary Anne Lynch) wrote:
>I have some questions about seed vitality and I am hoping this 
>is the proper place to post them.
>Since seeds continue the respiration process before they are planted,
>they continuously lose their 'nutrient store' (albeit slowly) until
>one day they just will not have any more energy to germinate....

You may be interested to read up on "reconditioning" treatments. Seeds 
are partially rehydrated (using a strong osmoticum, usually polyethylene 
glycol), incubated for some days and then redried. When allowed to fully 
rehydrate, the treated seeds germinate faster and more uniformly. I 
believe that this is used as a commercial treatment.

I used this technique for my undergraduate project a 
loooooooonnnnnnggggg time ago. In my case, I looked at rRNA fragmention 
in "aged" tomato seeds and showed its repair during the reconditioning 
treatment. I haven't followed the literature about seed treatment, but 
here are some old references:-

Heydecker, W., Higgins, J. and Gulliver, R.L. (1973) Accelerated 
germination by osmotic seed treatment. Nature 246, 42-44

Heydecker, W., Higgins, J. and Turner, Y.J. (1975) Invigorastion of 
seeds? Seed Science and Technology, 3, 881-888.

Jonathan B. Marder                 '
Department of Agricultural Botany  |     Internet: MARDER at
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem | /\/
Faculty of Agriculture             |/  \ Phone:    (08 or +9728) 481918
P.O.Box 12, Rehovot 76100, ISRAEL  /     Fax:      (08 or +9728) 467763

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