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How to store seeds to conserve biodiversity

, : How to store seeds to conserve biodiversity. Nature London 395(6704): 758

A letter comments on the recent report by Zheng et al. (1998;393:223-4) on the potential benefits of "ultra-dry" seed storage for the long-term genetic conservation of plants. Although Zheng et al.'s findings support the practical application of ultra-dry seed storage as an inexpensive, simple technology for gene banks, their suggestion that this technique provides longevity comparable to that of more conventional seed gene banks is questionable. Ultra-dry seed storage at ambient temperatures leads to, in some species at least, more rapid loss of seed viability than storage at around 5 percent moisture content at -18[degree]C.

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