Seed longevity in storage of alpine species

ESR 6B – Malaka Wijayasinghe

I graduated from University of Peradeniya and obtained a special degree in Biology. Soon after my graduation I got the opportunity to work as a Teaching Assistant at the Department of Zoology at the University of Peradeniya for a one year. In 2012 I was selected for a studentship to read for an M.Phil. degree in Seed Ecology and focus of my research was on seed dormancy, germination and storage behavior of selected (30 species) true mangrove and mangrove associate plants in Sri Lanka. I could identified five different classes of dormancy (ND, PY, PD, MPD and epicotyl dormancy) in seeds of mangrove plant species. And also my study focused on the hydrotime modeling of five selected Mangrove species. This study was the first community level study in seed ecology of mangroves and the findings of the study will help to restore and conserve the mangroves in future.

I have been always really interested in plants, since when I was a child and I received the title “Child botanist” from a governmental institute in Sri Lanka. It laid the foundation and inspired me to be a good scientist. I am interested in seed dormancy and storage behavior of seeds of plants in different ecosystems and to ascertain the natural cues which seeds break their dormancy. I like to volunteer in field visits with other research groups and gained a broad knowledge on different research aspects. My current research mainly focuses on seed longevity in storage of Alpine plant species. This study will characterize seed life-span of species of greatest likely interest for commercial production (ski trucks restoration), to make available guidelines on viability monitoring I nitial T raining N etwork 12 NASSTEC Newsletter, issue 1 October 2014 protocols for the seed trade, and to investigate priming techniques for increase seed longevity in storage. NASSTEC project will provide me with a good opportunity to participate in training programmes, workshops, conferences, meetings, etc. It is important for me to exchange my research ideas with the scientific community. These activities will broaden my knowledge and experience in the field of seed biology and will be able to contribute towards the development of seed science with new research findings. I hope that in future, my research findings will contribute to the improvement of basics of seed biology and associated industries in different aspects.