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Temperature sensitivity of the low-moisture-content limit to negative seed longevity-moisture content relationships in hermetic storage

Ellis, R. H. and Hong, T. D. (2006) Temperature sensitivity of the low-moisture-content limit to negative seed longevity-moisture content relationships in hermetic storage. Annals of Botany, 97 (5). pp. 785-791. ISSN 0305-7364

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcl035

Abstract/Summary

Background and Aims The negative logarithmic relationship between orthodox seed longevity and moisture content in hermetic storage is subject to a low-moisture-content limit (m(c)), but is m(c) affected by temperature? Methods Red clover (Trifolium pratense) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) seeds were stored hermetically at 12 moisture contents (2-15 %) and five temperatures (-20, 30, 40, 50 and 65 degrees C) for up to 14.5 years, and loss in viability was estimated. Key Results Viability did not change during 14.5 years hermetic storage at -20 degrees C with moisture contents from 2.2 to 14.9 % for red clover, or 2.0 to 12.0 % for alfalfa. Negative logarithmic relationships between longevity and moisture contents > m(c) were detected at 30-65 degrees C, with discontinuities at low moisture contents; m(c) varied between 4.0 and 5.4 % (red clover) or 4.2 and 5.5 % (alfalfa), depending upon storage temperature. Within the ranges investigated, a reduction in moisture content below m(c) at any one temperature had no effect on longevity. Estimates of m(c) were greater the cooler the temperature, the relationship (P < 0.01) being curvilinear. Above m(c), the estimates of C-H and C-Q (i.e. the temperature term of the seed viability equation) did not differ (P > 0.10) between species, whereas those of K-E and C-W did (P < 0.001). Conclusions The low-moisture-content limit to negative logarithmic relationships between seed longevity and moisture content in hermetic storage increased the cooler the storage temperature, by approx. 1.5 % over 35 degrees C (4.0-4.2 % at 65 degrees C to 5.4-5.5 % at 30-40 degrees C) in these species. Further reduction in moisture content was not damaging. The variation in m(c) implies greater sensitivity of longevity to temperature above, compared with below, m(c). This was confirmed (P < 0.005).

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:8494
Uncontrolled Keywords:Red clover Trifolium pratense, alfalfa Medicago sativa, hermetic seed, storage, seed longevity, seed viability equation, temperature, seed, desiccation, critical moisture content, equilibrium relative humidity, Q10, ULTRA-DRY SEEDS, LOGARITHMIC RELATION, THEORETICAL BASIS, SURVIVAL, GERMINATION, PROTOCOLS, CEREAL

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