Maternal Environment and Provenance Effects on Seed Longevity (Project completed 2011)
Whilst we have shown that the rate of seed deterioration under a given set of storage conditions varies across species by at least two orders of magnitude, and that these differences are correlated with aspects of the climate of origin [comparative longevity (orthodox seeds)], little is understood about the effect of maternal environment on seed longevity and the extent to which seed longevity might vary amongst populations within a species.
Previous work in our laboratory has revealed significant but relatively small differences in seed longevity amongst populations of three contrasting species. In view of the potential significance of these findings for the prediction of seed viability of banked collections a more detailed investigation has now begun in collaboration with the MSBP's Queensland partners.
At the University of Queensland, Jitka Kochanek carried out a PhD project on the effects of the maternal environment and provenance on seed longevity in two wild endemic Australian species, the annual forbs Wahlenbergia tumidifructa P.J.Sm (Campanulaceae) and Plantago cunninghamii Decne. (Plantaginaceae).
Project Partners and Collaborators
University of Queensland
Murdoch University, Western Australia
Key papers published since 2006:
Kochanek, J., Steadman, K., Probert, R. & Adkins, S. (2009). Variation in seed longevity among different populations, species and genera found in collections from wild Australian plants. Australian Journal of Botany 57: 1-9.
Kochanek, J., Buckley, Y.M., Probert, R.J., Adkins, S.W. & Steadman K.J. (2010). Pre-zygotic parental environment modulates seed longevity. Austral Ecology 35: 837-848.
Kochanek, J., Steadman, K.J., Probert, R.J. & Adkins, S.W. (2011). Parental effects modulate seed longevity: exploring parental and offspring phenotypes to elucidate pre-zygotic environmental influences. New Phytologist 191(1): 223-233.