Sunflower seed sterilization

Hi all,

Here is a seed sterilization protocol that surprised me – No fungus visible after 4 -5 days of growth on nutritious media.

In 100 ml distilled water mix the following

1 g sparkleen soap powder (dish washing stuff) –> This is the top end for sparkleen.  You may need to use less.
2 mL bleach (final concentration = 2%)
2 ml PPM. (final concentration = 2%)

Sterilize in 15 ml tubes.

Rinse seeds  with autoclaved water 3x.

Results: Normally the first image would contain many fungal blooms.  Not so in the images below.

Friday November 21st



Monday November 26thWP_20131125_001

Helianthus germination

Everyone in the lab seems to have their own brand of germination suited to their seed collections. If you have fresh seed Nolan’s protocol easy sunflower germination is a great place to start and germination should occur within a week (I have found this works with fresh H. paradoxus seed).

Here are is an updated version of Nolan’s germination protocol. I am working with some older Helianthus seed that takes several weeks to germinate. I have received useful advice from several lab members who are referenced within. I haven’t yet found a way to speed germination of old seed, but the emphasis here is on how to keep conditions sterile to prevent fungal infection until germination occurs. Patience is required.


Feel free to correct or add your brand of germination to this.

Helianthus neglectus collecting trip – Oct 2012 (Kate)

Recently, Kieran and I travelled to Monahans, Texas to collect Helianthus neglectus. It was a quick, fun trip in which we collected 8 dune and 10 non-dune populations. The seeds we collected are sorted and available in the lab in two boxes labelled “Helianthus neglectus – Monahans, Texas – Oct 2012″. Finally, I’ve posted the GPS coordinates and (usually) two photos for each site we collected from below. I will add more information about the habitat characteristics (vegetation cover and soil components) as it becomes available.

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