Say, for example, you have some really old seeds and say 3% of them sprouted. Is it possible that some genetic difference allowed that 3% to survive longer than the others? If not then what other factor could explain it? What if you stored some seeds with little effort to provide ideal conditions. Maybe keep them in an unheated shed protected from critters but not sealed in glass or metal, subject to all the changes of humidity and temperature that happen over winter. Could you select for ones genetically more able to withstand that kind of treatment?
Might not the ideal moisture content and constant conditions we strive for in storing our seeds be inadvertently making a stock of wimpy seeds?
Nothing ruins a neighborhood like paved roads and water lines.
I store my seeds at room temperature. Years ago I stored in refrigerator for a few years. I like the simple room storage.
I've also considered storing in the garden shed. But humidity and fluctuating temperatures is also what drives germination. Selecting for good shed storage would probably also select for seeds with delayed and asynchronous germination in the sowing bed. This could be a good thing in some crops, leading to a longer harvest season from same sowing. But for crops where I race against first autumn frost, I want all my seeds to germinate as fast as possible, for a longer growing season.
Zone 7 (could it be 8?), heavy limey clay, cold summers, mild winters and short growing season Denmark, 780m2 suburban garden, 1m above sea level, on small island.
Genetics certainly are a big contributor. I have a line of parsnips that I have grown from old seed. For the first generation, I asked for people to donate seed that was five years old or older. I sowed a few thousand seeds and got about 80 plants. That was in 2009. Then I waited three years and grew it in 2013. Germination was 86%. I will grow it again from the 2010 harvested seed next year and see how it compares.
Ultimately, I'd like to get it to 75% or better germination after 5 years of room temperature storage and then try to cross it back to a parsnip with more regular roots.
The only problem is that breeding for this kind of trait takes a really long time!
Growing where temperate rainforest meets the sea (WA coast): Jan avg low temp ~34*F, Aug avg high temp ~69*F, ~111 annual inches of rain, but only about 15 inches May-Sep, salt air, lots of wind.
I don't think I will actively work to select just for long term storage in less than perfect conditions. I just wondered what other people thought about it. After all people saved seeds for a long time before dehydrators and freezers came along. I can't grow everything every year and wondered if I don't get to something for years and some don't survive what might come of the ones that do. I think it would be OK if they inherit a store-able gene or two.
I just let them dry on their own. I have freeze treated seeds but I don't keep them there to store. I have an old metal wardrobe with welded seams that I laid down on it's back and I put my seeds in it. Some are in glass or plastic jars and some in bags. Nothing can get in there and any temp changes happen gradually.
keen101 (Biolumo / Andrew B.): Looking for Goldini Zucchini again. Thinking of setting up my own seed shop for OSSI varieties in the future.
Apr 2, 2022 3:58:57 GMT -5
gratefulseedsaver: I have Goldini seeds. email@example.com
Oct 8, 2022 18:46:12 GMT -5
wilscase: Hello all. My name is Casey Wilson. I'
Oct 18, 2022 21:31:32 GMT -5
wilscase: I'm a graduate student at Oregon State and have been working with populations segrgating for different color genes such as the B gene in Cucurbita. I'm curious if anyone has experience with crosses in Cucurbita maxima between grey blue types and orange?
Oct 18, 2022 21:33:14 GMT -5
wilscase: I have been backcrossing to the grey parent for 4 generations and have finally selfed the heterozygotes (for the Bmax gene) the populations have segregated for diffuse bicolor (pink/blue, orange green), blue green, blue, green, pink (salmon) and orange
Oct 18, 2022 21:36:29 GMT -5
wilscase: The genes involved are Bmax and bl. I have observed that Bmax is incompletely dominant to wild type (green). I have read that bl is incompletely recessive to Bl(wild type). I'm curious if anyone else has observed the behavior of Bmax in a grey/blue type
Oct 18, 2022 21:38:28 GMT -5
wilscase: It appears that bl and Bmax are interacting to produce different shades of salmon and pink.
Oct 18, 2022 21:38:52 GMT -5
wilscase: I'm also interested in any other color genetics, especially the relationships between B and L genes. In the right background these genes can dramatically increase Carotenoids (vitamin A)
Oct 18, 2022 21:40:09 GMT -5
wilscase: I have lots of germplasm and would love to exchange anything that people are interested in
Oct 18, 2022 21:41:56 GMT -5