Drying and Cold Storage Affect Germination of Black Huckleberry Seeds

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  • 1 Statistical Programs, College of Agriculture, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-2337
  • 2 Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences Department, University of Idaho, 2105 N. Boyer Avenue, Sandpoint, ID 83864

Trials were conducted to determine the effects of air drying and cold storage on black huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum Douglas ex Hooker) seeds. Treatments included fresh seeds, seeds air-dried for 7 days, and those air-dried and stored at 2 to 3 °C for either 1 or 7 years. Germination was measured every 7 days. The time course of germination was modeled using a logistic growth curve from which days to 50% germination (T50), germination rate index, and maximum germination percentages were estimated. Germination curves of dried and of dried and cold-stored seeds were significantly different from that of fresh seeds. Seeds stored for 1 or 7 years had germination percentages similar to those for the fresh, nondried seeds. Air drying for 7 days reduced the maximum germination percentage from 73% to 59% (fresh seeds). This induced dormancy was gradually lost during cold storage of dry seeds. Cold storage of air-dried seeds was an effective method for preserving V. membranaceum germplasm for at least 7 years.

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