In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Plant

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 127–136 | Cite as

Improved assessment of viability and germination of Cattleya (Orchidaceae) seeds following storage

  • Silvério Takao Hosomi
  • Ceci Castilho CustódioEmail author
  • Philip T. Seaton
  • Timothy R. Marks
  • Nelson Barbosa Machado-Neto


Effective seed storage methods for orchid species provide a unique opportunity to preserve large amounts of germplasm. Early evaluation of the physiological status of seeds is useful for selecting seed lots for conservation. To score seed quality, seeds from nine Cattleya species (Cattleya granulosa, Cattleya hegeriana, Cattleya intermedia, Cattleya mossiae, Cattleya purpurata, Cattleya sanguiloba, Cattleya tenuis, Cattleya tigrina and Cattleya walkeriana) were germinated on Knudson C medium and viability was measured using a tetrazolium (TZ) test following pre-conditioning in a 10% sucrose solution, both before and after storage at −18°C for 3 mo. Tetrazolium test results were quantified using digital imaging of germinating seeds on a flatbed scanner. Seed viability (with or without pre-conditioning in sucrose), germination, Germination Velocity Index (GVI) and the correlation between viability measurements and germination were also evaluated. Both the tetrazolium test and the germination results showed that there was no loss of viability after storage, although in five seed lots, the GVI decreased. Pre-conditioning improved the correlation between viability exhibited in the tetrazolium test and seed germination. Image analysis proved to be a powerful tool for analysing these small seeds.


Orchids Tetrazolium Conservation Image analysis Seed bank 



We would like to thank the Orchid Seed Stores for Sustainable Use (OSSSU) Project, which is supported by the Defra UK–Darwin Initiative (project no. 16-012), and UNOESTE that supported the development of the research.


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Copyright information

© The Society for In Vitro Biology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvério Takao Hosomi
    • 1
  • Ceci Castilho Custódio
    • 2
    Email author
  • Philip T. Seaton
    • 3
  • Timothy R. Marks
    • 3
  • Nelson Barbosa Machado-Neto
    • 2
  1. 1.Biology Department, UNOESTESPBrazil
  2. 2.Agronomy Department, UNOESTESPBrazil
  3. 3.Seed Conservation Department, Royal Botanic GardensWest SussexUK

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