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key factors in maintaining good seed qualityTemperature and relative humidity - key factors in maintaining good seed quality

Feb 23

TSTA Weekly Update, 02/23/2023

Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association

Member News


Membership renewals were mailed several weeks ago. A big Thank You to those companies who have already renewed for 2023! Please check the mail for your membership renewal and member certificate and renew your support for the Texas Seed Trade as soon as you are able.

Growouts are complete and Jeb reports them a real success! Costa Rica was especially good this year with optimum conditions and care. Our thanks to the BASF farm crew in Costa Rica and the great folks at Gan Eden Farm in Puerto Rico for doing such a great job for us.


Growout invoices were mailed several weeks ago from the TSTA office. Please look for them and return payment as soon as possible as we've already paid the land rent bills, the Texas Department of Agriculture travel and living expenses, shipping, and other costs associated with the winter growouts.

2023 Annual Membership Meeting


Thank you RiceTec, Turner Seed Company, Richardson Seeds, Ltd., Scott Seed, Co., Nufarm, SoDak Labs, and TriCal for you generous sponsorship!


Save the Date! On June 2, the Texas Seed Trade Association will host a gathering at the Amarillo Sod Poodles, a Double A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. We've got a box reserved and it'll be a great time for a lucky 25 of us. Stay tuned for more details and how to reserve your spot!

In an effort to update and maintain our membership records we request you take a few moments and fill out the very brief info request at the following link.


The link is secure and the information will be used internally by the Texas Seed Trade Association and never shared without your permission. This request is on behalf of your association's board of directors and officers and we greatly appreciate your cooperation. Thank you!


2/23/2023 - If you have not updated your information please take a moment and do so now. We appreciate it! We continue to update this database and need your input!

News Bits


Evonetix has raised $24M to develop technology that assembles long strands of DNA on silicon chips using phosphoramidite chemistry. The company aims to create a benchtop instrument that lets researchers make DNA in the lab rather than ordering it from outside the facility. Similarly a rival firm, DNA Script, has been developing a benchtop printer that uses enzymes to synthesize DNA. Evonetix is also researching enzymatic synthesis. from Chemical & Engineering News



What storage conditions affect seed quality? Temperature and relative humidity are two key factors in maintaining good seed quality

Crop Science Society of America


When it comes to seeds, storage conditions make an impact. Most people are aware that seeds need to be kept cool and dry to maintain their quality in storage. But the real questions are: How cool, and how dry, do the storage conditions need to be? The February 22nd Sustainable, Secure Food Blog looks at some general guidelines that apply to all types of seeds.


The two most significant factors that affect seed quality in storage are temperature and relative humidity. Seeds need to be stored in conditions that carefully balance temperature and humidity to maintain seed quality and reduce seed deterioration.

Researchers in Oregon are testing storage conditions that help hemp seeds grow best. Shown here, a normal hemp seedling that sprouted during the Field Emergence vigor test. Vigor tests determine how well plants grow after they germinate. Credit Grace Fuchs


Scientists also know that the sum of relative humidity (as a percentage) and temperature (in °C) must not exceed the number 100 for safe seed storage. So, if the temperature is high, relative humidity needs to be kept low, and vice versa.


Grace Fuchs, graduate student at Oregon State University, focuses her work on the best storage conditions for hemp seed (Cannabis sativa L.) She and her advisor are exploring different ratios of temperature and relative humidity to determine how they affect hemp seed quality in storage.


To read more about the research findings and the entire blog, visit:


This blog is part of Crop Science Society of America’s Seed Week celebration. Why celebrate seeds? Anyone who plants a seed is investing in hope. That’s one of the attractions of seeds. For the gardener, it could be hope for a beautiful flower, or perhaps a delicious zucchini squash. For our farmers, seeds are the hope of this year’s yields of produce, cash crops or forage. No matter the size or shape of the seed, they all can bring forth new life. At Crop Science Society of America, we hold seeds in very high regard. Please visit our Seed Week webpage for news stories, blogs and more information about seed research and facts.

The breeding out of wheat resistance to a destructive fungus

Letizia Diamante, Nature Middle East


The loss of a single gene in wheat makes it vulnerable to a fungus called Pyricularia oryzae, which causes a highly destructive disease that emerged in Brazil in 1985 and has since spread to South America, Bangladesh and Zambia. The finding was published in Nature Plants.


There is still much to learn about how to control the disease, known as wheat blast, which is a threat to global production. Intensive breeding can reduce the diversity of genes that resist the fungus, rendering crops more vulnerable to outbreaks. 


An international research team searched for resistance genes in a wild grass ancestor of modern wheat and in 300 wheat heritage lines, which are part of a collection assembled at the beginning of the 20th century, before the emergence of intensive breeding. This included analyses of plants from field sites in Egypt by Ahmed Elkot from the Field Crops Research Institute.

Wheat blast symptoms: the fungal disease attacks the spikes or heads of wheat plants, causing them to become blighted and turn a whitish-brown colour.

Paul Nicholson


The team found that the wheat resistance genes Rwt3 and Rwt4 regulate defence molecules that recognize the fungal proteins PWT3 and PWT4 respectively.


Further experiments showed that wheat plants in which the function of one of these resistance genes was lost were susceptible to wheat blast, confirming the hypothesis that the first wheat blast epidemics in Brazil occurred due to the widespread cultivation of wheat varieties lacking Rwt3


The scientists were able to use their analyses to learn more about the evolution of the interactions between different pathogens and wheat genes. For example, they found that Rwt4 is related to another gene, called Pm24, which confers resistance against another wheat disease called powdery mildew. 


“The mechanism by which Rwt3 and Rwt4 recognise PWT3 and PWT4 is not known, but we have initiated research to establish how the fungal and host components interact with one another. The technologies are being used to identify genes that confer resistance against pathogens present in Bangladesh and Zambia,” says Paul Nicholson from the John Innes Centre in the United Kingdom, who co-authored this study, with Brande Wulff from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in Saudi Arabia.


“The discovery of two wheat resistance genes is hugely significant in light of our limited understanding of the genetic basis of wheat blast specificity. The potential for the emergence of highly virulent and aggressive blast strains is unknown and requires further study," says plant pathologist, Md. Motaher Hossain from the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University in Bangladesh, who was not involved in this study.


Arora, S. et al. A wheat kinase and immune receptor form the host-specificity barrier against the blast fungus. Nat. Plants (2023).



USDA Release



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The articles, views, and opinions expressed in the Weekly Update do not necessarily reflect the policies of the Texas Seed Trade Association or the opinions of its members.