Germinability of soybean seeds stored more than 30 years in the Bulgarian national seed genebank
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The maintenance of seed viability over long periods of time in genebanks is a key element in conservation of plant genetic resources. In this work, data obtained at the Bulgarian National seed Genebank from the routine task of monitoring seed viability from soybean were analyzed. Differences between initial, first and second germination test after 11 and 34 years of long-term storage were assessed among 182 accessions from Glycine max (L.) Merr. The samples were regenerated during 1978-1981 growing seasons. On the basis of experimental data, the seed storage characters - σ, P50% and P10% were determined allowing the prediction of seed storage life and the regeneration needs. Significant decrease in seed viability after 11 years of storage was not recorded in the investigated soybean accessions from the different regeneration years. When comparing the initial germination percentages with results from the second control test after 34 years of storage were found significant differences in the loss of seed viability among genotypes from different regeneration years. The frequency of odd results were most significant for genotypes regenerated in 1981 (0.691) in comparison with these from other regeneration seasons. The highest Ki value (2.09) was recorded for accessions from 1981 harvest year; where rate of seed deterioration (1/σ) was also highest (-0.044). The lowest values both for Ki and 1/σ were found for the groups of accessions harvested in 1978 and 1979. There was a wide variation between groups of accessions regenerated in different years in both the time taken for viability to fall to 50% and the time for seed viability reduction with 10%. The predicted mean safe storage time for Glycine max (L.) Merr. was 25.54 years. Total 76 accessions or 42,2% of analyzed accessions had significant decrease of germination after 34 years of storage and would need regeneration.
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