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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00221

Tolerance of Ruppia sinensis seeds to desiccation, low temperature, and high salinity with special reference to long-term seed storage

Ruiting Gu1,  Yi Zhou1*, Xiaoyue Song1, Shaochun Xu1, Xiaomei Zhang1,  Haiying Lin2, Shuai Xu1, Shidong Yue1 and Shuyu Zhu3
  • 1CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China, Institute of Oceanology (CAS), China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, China
  • 3Shandong Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve, China

Seeds are important materials for the restoration of globally-threatened marine angiosperm (seagrass) populations. In this study, we investigated the differences between different Ruppia sinensis seed types and developed two feasible long-term R. sinensis seed storage methods. The ability of R. sinensis seeds to tolerate the short-term desiccation and extreme cold had been investigated. The tolerance of R. sinensis seeds to long- term exposure of high salinity, cold temperature, and desiccation had been considered as potential methods for long-term seed storage. Also, three morphological and nine physiological indices were measured and compared between two types of seeds: Shape L and Shape S. We found that: 1) Wet storage at a salinity of 30-40 psu and 0℃ were the optimal long-term storage conditions, and the proportion of viable seeds reached over 90% after a storage period of 11 months since the seeds were collected from the reproductive shoots; 2) dry condition was not the optimal choice for long-term storage of R. sinensis seeds; however, storing seeds in a dry condition at 5℃ and 33+10% relative humidity for 9 months had a relatively high percentage (74.44 + 2.22%) of viable seeds, consequently desiccation exposure could also be an acceptable seed storage method; 3) R. sinensis seeds would lose vigor in the interaction of extreme cold (-27℃) and desiccation; 4) there were significant differences in seed weight, seed curvature, and endocarp thickness between the two types of seeds; These findings provided basic seed-related ecological information for R. sinensis and support the long-term storage of its seeds. Our results may also serve as useful information for seagrass seed storage and restoration programs.

Keywords: Desiccation, morphology, seagrass, Ruppia sinensis, seed, storage, Salinity, temperature

Received: 26 Oct 2017; Accepted: 05 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Richard K. Unsworth, Swansea University, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Catherine J. Collier, James Cook University, Australia
Michael J. Durako, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Gu, Zhou, Song, Xu, Zhang, Lin, Xu, Yue and Zhu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Yi Zhou, Institute of Oceanology (CAS), CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China, Qingdao, China, yizhou@qdio.ac.cn