Identification of the seed storage behaviour of a target species is essential prior to seed storage so that suitable storage strategies are taken. In the present experiments, germination characteristics, desiccation, and low temperature tolerance of seeds of Sophora tonkinensis was studied; a traditional Chinese medicine on the edge of extinction, were investigated for the first time in attempt to interpret their storage behaviour. The results indicate that the temperature optimum for seed germination ranged from 25 to 30°C, the seed germination was non-photoblastic, the seed viability declined with the decrease of moisture content by a silica gel desiccation, and a low temperature storage at -20°C for 3 months had no significant effects on the seeds desiccated to 5.4 ± 0.1% moisture content. These results suggest an intermediate seed storage behaviour. For germplasm long-term conservation purpose, a cryopreservation investigation was proposed.
Key words: Seed, desiccation tolerance, low temperature tolerance, germination, Sophora tonkinensis.
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