Gaseous environment modulates volatile emission and viability loss during seed artificial ageing (Planta)

The gaseous environment is thought to play a fundamental role in seed longevity in storage conditions, given the role of oxygen and other volatile compounds in seed viability loss. However, formal tests of its influence are still scarce compared to other storage parameters such as temperature and humidity. In this paper, Han and colleagues assess the effect of oxygen on seed longevity and the volatile compounds accumulated during seed storage. Seeds of three species were submitted to an accelerated aging treatment in the presence of Oxygen Absorbing Sachets (OAS), silica gel (SG), or both. Volatile compound emission was analyzed using coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Seed viability and lifespan of two species were higher when seeds were aged with OAS and/or SG. Twenty-four volatile substances were identified, with ethanol, methanol, and acetic acid the most prevalent. Notably, volatile emission was reduced in seed incubated with OAS or SG, suggesting they act as volatile traps. This paper provides promising results that could be implemented in techniques to keep track of seed viability and storage practices that enhance seed longevity in ex-situ seed banks. (Summary by Carlos A. Ordóñez-Parra @caordonezparra) Planta 10.1007/s00425-021-03620-5