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Recalcitrant Behavior of Temperate Forest Tree Seeds: Storage, Biochemistry, and PhysiologyAuthor(s): Kristina F. Connor; Sharon Sowa
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS?48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 47-50
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
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DescriptionThe recalcitrant behavior of seeds of live oak (Quercus virginiana Mill.), and Durand oak (Quercus durandii Buckl.) was examined after hydrated storage at two temperatures, +4°C and -2°C for up to 1 year. Samples were collected and analyses performed at monthly intervals. At each sampling time, seeds were tested for viability and moisture content. Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia L.) seeds were similarly stored but analyzed at intervals of 3 months, while those of cherrybark oak (Quercus pagoda Raf.) and water oak (Quercus nigra L.) were tested yearly. Durand oak, live oak, and red buckeye seeds stored at -2°C maintained higher viability for a longer period of time than did those stored at +4°C. However, live oak acorns were damaged by the colder storage temperature. Sprouting during storage occurred at the higher storage temperature, but not at -2°C. After 2 years, water oak and cherrybark oak acorns which had been dried prior to refrigeration had lower viability than those stored fully hydrated. The damage was especially apparent in cherrybark acorns, with viability reduced after 1 year to 22 percent in those dried and then stored at -2°C and to 5 percent in those stored at +4°C. It is suggested that all precautions against desiccation be taken when collecting cherrybark and water oak acorns that are not for immediate use. Unless the acorns are collected when fresh and maintained in a fully hydrated state, severe losses can arise when stored for only 1 year. Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FT-IR) studies have shown that cherrybark acorns subjected to severe desiccation exhibit irreversible changes in membrane lipid and protein secondary structure. This change was the most sensitive indicator of viability loss as yet encountered in these experiments. Future studies will examine the role of protein denaturation in seed deterioration.
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CitationConnor, Kristina F.; Sowa, Sharon. 2002. Recalcitrant Behavior of Temperate Forest Tree Seeds: Storage, Biochemistry, and Physiology. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS?48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 47-50
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