Deterioration of Leucocoryne spp. seeds as a function of storage time

Carlos de la Cuadra I.1, Leví Mansur V.1, Gabriela Verdugo R.1 y Luis Arriagada G.1

The genus Leucocoryne is endemic in Chile having a high ornamental value making it an interesting genetic resource as a cut flower or potted plant. To conserve this germplasm it is necessary to evaluate the deterioration of seed quality during storage. In this study seeds of L. coquimbensis, L. ixioides and L. purpurea, and two ecotypes were stored under uncontrolled environmental conditions between 0.3 and 7.3 years. The model, p = A [1-exp{-k {t -t0}}] was used to describe germination curves. where A, is the final germination percentage, t0 is the time that takes for the first seed to germinate, k is the germination time, and 1/tA/2 is the germination velocity which is given by t0 + 0,693/k.. The parameters most affected by storage time were A and k. In the period between 0,3 and 2,3 years of storage, A had a mean value of 85%, t0 of 9 days, k between 0,82 and 0,15 d-1 and germination velocity between 0,10 y 0,08 d-1. In the period between 3,3-5,3 years A reached a maximum of 13%, t0 of 23 days, k of 0,19 d-1 and 1/tA/2 of 0,04 d-1. After six years of storage there was no germination. It was determined that Leucocoryne maintains the quality of its seeds at room temperature for a maximum of 2.3 years which is useful for breeding purposes. However, for longer periods of storage it is necessary to define adequate conditions of temperature and humidity.

Keywords: seed quality, germination, Leucocoryne, huilli, Glory of the Sun.
1 Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Facultad de Agronomía, Casilla 4-D, Quillota, Chile. E-mail: levi@entelchile.net