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Understanding Tree Seed Performance

Examples of some results to date:

  • We have characterised in some detail the desiccation-sensitive behaviour of recalcitrant English oak (Quercus robur) seeds. Within this species, the presence of putative desiccation tolerance mechanisms has been investigated. Improved storage protocols have also been identified.
  • The involvement of the endosperm as a restraining tissue in the control of dormancy loss and germination of ash (Fraxinus excelsior) seeds has been identified and characterised. This has implications for seed treatments to break dormancy in this and other species.
  • DNA replication has been identified as a potential indicator of the progress of dormancy breaking treatments in several tree species.
  • Cherry seed development can be continued after harvest to reduce variation in response to dormancy breaking treatments.

Current programme:

Cherry Seed

Cherry Seed

We are studying the following topics:

  • Dormancy mechanisms in the seeds of cherry (Prunus avium), ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides).
  • Identification of genes involved in dormancy maintenance and breakage in cherry by differential display of the genes expressed during stratification and by looking for cherry homologues of genes known to control dormancy in other, better studied plants such as Arabidopsis.
  • Practical treatments for the continuation of tree seed development immediately post-harvest with a view to reducing seed quality variation between production occasions.
  • The basis of desiccation sensitivity in temperate and tropical recalcitrant tree seeds.
  • The potential for biological control of fungal pathogens during storage of recalcitrant seeds.

Technology Transfer

We have produced two booklets, "Farm Woodland Tree Seed" and "Cherry seed". The booklets provide, in sequence, an overview of each of the stages in which seed performance is determined and how it can be improved.

A FREE copy of these booklets can be obtained by post in the UK.

Send an A4 stamped addressed envelope to:
Dr Bill Finch-Savage
Warwick HRI
Wellesbourne, Warwick
CV35 9EF

The booklets are also available for download (Adobe Acrobat files).

Farm woodland bookletIn order to cater for differing needs, The Farm Woodland Tree Seed booklet is available in three sections. Everyone should download the first section below which is the text of the booklet and is in black & white throughout:-

Download booklet text (206Kb)

The second section contains Table 1 from pp. 24 & 25 of the booklet arranged on a single page for easy viewing:-

Download Table 1 (16Kb)

The third section consists of the colour cover of the booklet which, owing to it's greater size, will take relatively longer to download:-

Download booklet cover (1,072Kb)

The "Cherry Seed" booklet (text only) can also be downloaded.

Click here (736Kb)

Download booklet cover (540Kb)


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