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Re: Re: HYB: Freezing Iris Seeds

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] Re: HYB: Freezing Iris Seeds
  • From: "Donald Eaves" <donald@eastland.net>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 21:37:00 -0500

Sandy writes:

>Liquid nitrogen is very cheap (relatively speaking) and ice crystals do
>not get a chance to form, the freezing is that fast. The seed/egg/embryo
>are stored in liquid nitrogen.  Hence the high recovery rate.

On the arilbred list there have been suggestions that planting seeds green
and refrigerating those seeds 'til time to germinate improves germination
rates.  Germination can be an issue when working with the aril ancestry.  I
wonder if freezing seeds using liquid nitrogen might preserve seeds in the
green state until they could be planted normally?  I store dried seeds in
the freezer, but wouldn't want to risk the slow freeze process on a green
seed.  I can't handle very many green seed pods in the refrigerator, so I
generally work with dried ones.  I'd ask some of the folks I know who have
nitrogen storage tanks for cattle semen, but I doubt they'd be much
interested in storing iris seeds for me.  Wonder if this has been tried at
some time?  Does anyone know?  Apparently the embryo is under an
unbelievable amount of pressure after a seed is dry and cannot begin to grow
until that pressure is removed.  Green planting is supposed to circumvent
that problem.  My understanding, and it may be wrong, is that aril content
increases the pressure on the embryos.

Donald Eaves
Texas Zone 7b, USA

>Cryogenic freezing would work in both circumstances of course.  I
>suspect that anyone who wishes to propagate (irises) via tissue culture
>would have access to liquid nitrogen.  Alternatively, if you just want
>to ensure a very high germination rate from previously frozen material,
>use liquid nitrogen to freeze the seeds initially, then move the seeds
>to your regular freezer immediately.  Do not allow to thaw.
>Sandy Ives in Ottawa (who has a large mess of seeds from 60 'takes' to
>put away still)
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