Application of the method of accelerated aging to evaluate the stress tolerance of seeds

  • Galina Smolikova Saint Petersburg State University, 7–9, Universitetskaya nab., Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation


Regardless of the conditions in which the seeds are stored — optimal or adverse, over time they age. Aging of seeds may be considered as an accumulation of structural and metabolic damages, leading to the dysfunction and the reduction of tolerance to environmental factors up to the loss of viability. The damages leading to aging of seeds are based on the non-enzymatic glycosylation of proteins, the generation of ROS and the lipid peroxidation. The duration of seed aging can vary from a few days to tens or even hundreds of years. There are two main factors that affect the rate of seed aging: air temperature and humidity. The method of accelerated aging, which is a short-term incubation of seeds at high temperature and humidity, allows simulating the unfavourable environmental factors and predicting their influence on seed. High quality seeds are more tolerant to extreme conditions and they develop more tolerant plants. In this paper the effect of accelerated aging on seeds of wide range of crops (cabbage, carrots, soy, lupine, barley, wheat, oats) and varieties is analysed. The results suggest that the accelerated aging allows evaluating the differences in stability between the crop varieties. However, it is necessary to consider that the quality of seed is influenced by many factors, ranging from the influence of the mother plant to the influence of environment conditions in which the seeds store after their maturation. Therefore, when evaluating the crop varieties seeds that were grown and stored in the same conditions should be used. Refs 16. Figs 8. Tables 2.


seeds, accelerated aging, seed germination, seed viability, seed tolerance, evaluation of seed tolerance


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Smolikova, G. (2014). Application of the method of accelerated aging to evaluate the stress tolerance of seeds. Biological Communications, (2), 82–93. Retrieved from
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