Seed longevity and storage dependent changes in seed germination aspects of Berberis aristata and B. lycium from Western Himalaya: implications for seed storage and conservation

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Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
Pub Email:
Doi: 10.1007/s42535-022-00505-0
First Page: 1191
Last Page: 1198
Views: 395

Keywords: Berberis aristata , B. lycium , Conservation, Endangered, Seed germination, Longevity


Seed longevity is an important feature in the context of agriculture, biodiversity conservation, gene banks and plant adaptation to diverse environmental adversities. It varies extensively, from a few days to many years, in a species-specific manner. The present study was aimed at assessing the seed longevity under ambient storage conditions and characterizing the storage dependent changes in viability, germination and efficacy of certain seed pre-treatments in Berberis aristata Roxb. ex DC. and B. lycium Royle (Berberidaceae) from different altitudes in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India. Both the species have remarkably high medicinal and economic importance and are threatened. The freshly harvested seeds exhibited 100% viability and a reasonably good germination i.e., 53%, 60% and 77% in B. aristata (2400 m), B. lycium (2100 m) and B. lycium (1200 m), respectively, that was further enhanced to varying extents through certain seed pre-treatments. The seed viability status declined consistently with the progression of storage period; in B. aristata, 100% viability status was retained upto 6 months. Storage of seeds for 18 months under ambient conditions led to 33% and 100% viability loss in B. aristata (2400 m), and B. lycium (1200, 2100 m), respectively. A concomitant storage-dependent decline in seed germination was observed. The order of seed longevity (time taken for 50% decline in seed viability) was: B. aristata (2400 m) > 20 months, B. lycium (2100 m) > 10 months and B. lycium (1200 m) > 8 months. The stored seeds responded to various pretreatments in a generally comparable manner to that in case of the freshly harvested ones. The observations on diverse seed biological aspects have direct implications for seed storage, conservation and propagation of the species studied.

              Berberis aristata
              B. lycium
            , Conservation, Endangered, Seed germination, Longevity

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Financial assistance as JRF and SRF to Ram Krishan by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi (3/1/3/JRF-2014/HRD-078/10023) is thankfully acknowledged.

Author Information

Krishan Ram
Department of Biosciences, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, India

Sharma Rajender Kumar
Department of Botany, Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Kumar Vijay
Department of Biosciences, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, India