Medium-term seed storage of forage legumes and genebank monitoring intervals

An analysis of three decades of genebank seed germination test results

Scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in association with the University of Reading, have conducted research to determine if routine long-term seed lot monitoring data could be analysed to estimate the time course of loss in viability during storage in the ILRI genebank. The research paper entitled, Medium-term seed storage of 50 genera of forage legumes and evidence-based genebank monitoring intervals, was recently published in Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution.

Genebanks maintaining seeds for long-term genetic resources conservation monitor seed lots to detect early loss in viability. Monitoring is costly and depletes valuable seed.

The researchers analyzed three decades of genebank seed germination test results of diverse forage species from 50 legume genera in ILRI’s medium-term store to determine whether advice on seed monitoring intervals could be derived. They were able to identify six patterns of within-genus variation.

Please see Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution for the full article.