Norway spruce (Picea abies) seeds were stored for 15 months at +3, -25, -75 or -196 degrees C. After storage, seeds were germinated for 9 days to determine viability, bound and free auxin (IAA) and abscisic acid (ABA) levels. Obtained results do not provide clear evidence for a possible correlation between low-temperature storage treatment and viability of spruce seeds. However, a germination test revealed a significant decrease in vitality of seeds pretreated with +3 degrees C storage temperature compared with -25 degrees C controls. Seeds subjected to a storage temperature of +3 degrees C expressed slightly lower bound IAA level, which could be correlated with decreased viability. Results indicated a decreased level of free IAA in seeds pretreated with a -196 degrees C storage temperature compared with -25 degrees C controls. On the other hand, the results revealed an increased level of free ABA in germinating seeds pretreated with +3, -75 or -196 degrees C storage temperatures. The most significant increase, however, could be observed in the -75 degrees C treatment and it correlates with earlier obtained results showing increased plasma membrane fluidity in the same seedlings. On the other hand, decreased bound abscisic acid content was observed in germinating seeds pretreated with -196 degrees C storage temperature. Observed increased free ABA level, can indicate that pretreated seeds can express, during germination, physiological changes associated with stress response or adaptation.