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  • Author or Editor: LaTeasa Barnes x
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Pawpaw is a native American tree fruit that has great potential as a new commercial crop. The USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Asimina sp. is located at Kentucky State Univ. (KSU); therefore, germplasm collection and storage are important components of the research program. Recalcitrant seeds do not tolerate desiccation, have a relatively short period of viability, and tend not to tolerate subfreezing temperatures. Since pawpaw seed shows a moderate level of recalcitrance, the objectives of this experiment were to determine which storage temperatures (20, 5, -15, and -70 °C for 8.5 weeks) would maintain viable seed, and whether prior seed stratification (5 °C for 17.5 weeks) would influence survival at the various storage temperatures. Seeds were placed in ziplock bags in moist peat moss and subjected to the range of storage temperatures either before or after stratification. After storage and stratification treatments, seed germination rate was examined for 10 weeks at 25 °C on moist filter paper in petri dishes. Both stratification and storage temperature significantly affected seed germination rate. Seeds did not germinate after storage at subfreezing temperatures, regardless of stratification treatment. The best germination rate, ≈70%, was obtained with stratification followed by storage at 20 °C. However, for long-term storage of viable nongerminating pawpaw seed, stratification followed by storage at 5 °C would be most appropriate. Subfreezing storage temperatures were found to be lethal to pawpaw seeds.

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