Amanda Lima Vilela, an undergraduate student at the Universidade Federal de Lavras in Minas Gerais, Brazil joined the OPGC in August 2017 for a 5-month internship. Her work focuses on seed quality parameters in Phlox. Amanda is carrying on studies initiated by Juliana Espindola and Sibelle Santanna da Silva on characteristics of seed in perennial species of Phlox. These seeds have presented a challenge to standard germplasm preservation practices. First, it is difficult to obtain sufficient seed for basic characterization and analysis. Second, when seeds are produced locally, they appear to be of low quality, as evidenced by extensive fungal growth on the seeds during standard germination tests. Third, the dormancy mechanism of these seeds is not well-known but they require a period of cold stratification for germination. Amanda is exploring viability tests, methods to overcome seed dormancy, and culture of isolated embryos from mature seeds.