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RE:HYB: Freezing Seeds

For long term storage, I'm pretty sure that "seed" from animals are 
stored at -80 Celsius.  That's true also of most of the (animal) 
proteins that are used in the lab I work in - things like antibodies 
or serum samples.  For shorter term, we use -20 Celsius freezers.  
Different molecules have different stability when frozen.  We have to 
consider other things, too, like whether a freezer is frost-free or 
back-up systems for power outages (dry ice for the -80 storage).

So, anyway, I think that iris seeds are kind of "built" for at least 
some freezing, aren't they?  I bet individual home freezers have 
different patterns of temperature cycles (frost-free vs the old ice-
cave) and so what works for one person might not work for another.  
Probably the best way for a person to know if it works with his/her 
equipment is to do a "controlled" study, splitting the harvested 
seeds into two groups that are as similar as possible and putting 
some in the fridge and some in freezer, and keeping track of the 
ultimate yield of viable seedlings.  Sure, the answer will take a 
while, but it sounds like you hybridizers out there are a very 
patient sort.  I've never tried...so perhaps my suggestion should be 
taken with a grain of salt!

Melanie Tornberg
Zone 4/5  South Berwick, ME

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