Seed Quality Analysis in Phlox

An important goal of our germplasm development in Phlox is to conserve the germplasm as seed.  However, seeds of the perennial species of Phlox have proven much more challenging to produce (pollination requires butterflies and only one or two seeds are prododuced per fruit),  harvest (fruit shattering is a common process through ballistic dispersal of seeds) and germination (seeds require cold stratification prior to germination).  While we have been able to produce seed in some accessions, the resulting seed quality has been generally low, with extensive growth of fungi and irregular germination.  We are exploring components of seed quality in order to maximize our ability to produce sufficient high quality seed for long-term storage.