Seed respirometry researchProject title: The energetic basis to seed longevity and storage

Dates: 2016 - 2019

Funding: Australian Research Council

Location: Perth

Research themes

  • respirometry
  • comparative energetics
  • seed banking

Project description

This project is examining the relationship between seed metabolic activity and seed longevity, dormancy, and germination. A key aim is to utilise a Q2 Scanner – new technology that measures seed oxygen consumption – and develop novel applications of respirometry for predicting seed storage life and for rapid and automated assessment of seed treatments that enhance germination performance.

Some specific aims of the project include to:

  • Develop novel applications and technological refinements of flow-through respirometry for non- destructive, real-time measurements of seed energetics.
  • Explore the ecology and diversity of seed respiration using allometric regression and residual analysis in a phylogenetic context.
  • Deploy respirometry as a research and management tool to improve predictions of seed longevity for conservation seed banks.
  • Understand seed dormancy types through metabolic signatures.

Key staff

Dr Emma Dalziell (Curtin University/BGPA), Dr Sean Tomlinson (BGPA), Dr David Merritt (BGPA), Prof Philip Withers (UWA), and Prof Kingsley Dixon (Curtin University/BGPA).

Publications

Dalziell EL, Tomlinson S (2017) Reduced metabolic rate indicates declining viability in seed collections: an experimental proof-of-concept.
Conservation Physiology 5. DOI: 10.1093/rec.cox058

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