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One-step analysis of seed storage data and the longevity of Arabidopsis thaliana seeds

Hay, F.R., Mead, A., Manger, K., Wilson, F.J.
Journal of experimental botany 2003 v.54 no.384 pp. 993-1011
Arabidopsis thaliana, seeds, temperature, salinity, ecotypes, storage, equations, viability, seed germination, mortality
Seeds of two ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana, NW20 and N1601, were aged over a range of saturated salt solutions at temperatures between 6 degrees C and 55 degrees C. For each ecotype, the results from 37 storage experiments were summarized using the Ellis and Roberts viability equations and a modified version of these equations which allows for a proportion of 'non-respondents'. For both models, two approaches were taken in order to model the effect of moisture content (MC) and temperature on seed longevity. The first, a two-step approach, involved fitting individual survival curves and then multiple regression analysis of the fitted parameters on moisture content and temperature. For the second approach, the full viability models were fitted in one step, including the multiple regression for the effects of MC and temperature within the generalized linear model used to describe each survival curve. This one-step approach takes into account the full variability of the data and provides the best predictions of seed longevity based on the original assumptions of the Ellis and Roberts viability equations. As a consequence of taking into account all the variation, this one-step approach is more sensitive and thus more likely to detect changes due to reducing the number of parameters in the model as being significant. Whilst both approaches indicated that seeds from the two Arabidopsis ecotypes have the same response to MC and temperature, parameter values did differ between the approaches, with the one-step approach providing the better fit. The best model for these two ecotypes, from the one-step approach, confirmed a quadratic relationship between temperature and longevity, but the magnitude of the non-linearity is not as large as indicated by the universal value for the quadratic term.