Effect of air temperature and relative humidity on the stored Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum L.) seeds


  • Gregorio PADULA Poznań University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Horticulture and Bioengineering, Department of Phytopathology, Seed Science and Technology (PL)
  • Xianzong XIA Poznań University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Horticulture and Bioengineering, Department of Phytopathology, Seed Science and Technology (PL)
  • Dorota SZOPIŃSKA Poznań University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Horticulture and Bioengineering, Department of Phytopathology, Seed Science and Technology (PL)
  • Roman HOŁUBOWICZ Poznań University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Horticulture and Bioengineering, Department of Phytopathology, Seed Science and Technology (PL)




Japanase bunching onion, seed health, seed storage costs, Welsh onion seed storage


In the years 2018-2021, experiments on the effect of air temperature and relative humidity (RH) on the storage of Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum L.) seeds were carried out. Three different cultivars and one breeding line received from commercial plant breeding and seed production companies were used. All their seeds at the beginning of storage had high germination over 90%, and moisture content 7-8%. Then, they were stored for 30 months in the controlled conditions at 3 different temparatures:  7-8 °C, 10 °C and 25 °C, each with 2 different air relative humidty (RH): 25% or 45%. During the experiment, their quality was evaluated by germination test according to the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) protocol. Additionally, after 1 and 2 years of storage at 7-8 °C and 25% air RH, the seeds of the line were evaluated for their incidence of fungi. It was found out that seeds of the tested genotypes kept good germination at 7-8 °C and at 10 °C, i.e. after storing them, the same effect was achieved. Thus, the latter can effectively lower the costs of the seed storage in commercial seed trade of the crop. The electric current consumption for the seeds stored at 7-8 °C in comparison with 10 °C was higher by 11.2%. In seeds of 3 genotypes, after storing them for 30 months, their germination was better at the air RH 45% than at 25%. Generally, low temperature (7-8 °C) favoured growth of Penicillium spp. and Phoma spp. on Welsh onion seeds during 2 years of storage, while storing at higher temperature (25 °C) resulted in the increase in seed infestation with Cladosporium spp. and Fusarium spp. The results obtained from this research can be used as a guideline for the storage in climatic and RH controlled chambers of all genotypes belonging to Allium fistulosum species, with the aim to maintain its seed germination quality related to the duration of the storage and taking into consideration the operating energy costs.


Metrics Loading ...


Bewley JD, Black MS (1994). Physiology of Development and Germination. Second edition. Plenum Press, New York, London, pp 387-390.

Brocklehurst PA (1985). Factors affecting seed quality in vegetable crops. Scientific Horticulture 36:48-57.

Copeland LO, McDonald MB (1985). Seed Dormancy. In: Principles of Seed Science and Technology. Second edition. Burgess Publishing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, pp 103-120.

Doijiode SD (2001). Storage Conditions. In: Seed Storage of Horticultural Crops. Food Products Press. London, Oxford, pp 194-197.

Dong HZ, Gao RQ, Yin YP, Li SF (1998). Study on the physiological-chemical characteristics of Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum L.) seed under different storage and package conditions. Scientia Agricultura Sinica 31(4):59-64 (in Chinese).

Dorna H, Jarosz M, Szopinska D, Szulc I, Rosinska A (2013). Germination, vigour and health of primed Allium cepa L. seeds after storage. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum Hortorum Cultus 12(4):43-58.

Hewett PD (1987). Pathogen viability on seed in deep freeze storage. Seed Science and Technology 15(1):73-77.

Hołubowicz R (2016). Seed Production and Technology. Wyd. UP-Poznań, pp 1-87.

Hołubowicz R, Bralewski TW (2004). Strategies of development of horticultural breeding and seed production companies after Poland joins the European Union. Folia Univ. Agric. Stet., Agric. 239:127-130 (in Polish). https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.21603780.v1

Hourston JE, Pérez M, Gawthrop F, Richards M, Steinbrecher T, Leubner-Metzger G (2020). The effects of high oxygen partial pressure on vegetable Allium seeds with a short shelf-life. Planta 251(6):1-9. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-020-03398-y

Justice OL, Bass LN (1978). Principles and Practices of Seed Storage. Agricultural Handbook 506, 178.

Khan MM, Iqbal MJ, Abbas M, Raza H, Waseem R, Ali ARSHAD (2004). Loss of vigour and viability in aged onion (Allium cepa L.) seeds. International Journal of Agriculture & Biology 6(4):708-711.

Köycü ND, Özer N (1997). Determination of seedborne fungi in onion and their transmission to onion sets. Phytoparasitica 25(1):25-31. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02981476

Kugbei S (2000). Calculating costs of storage. In: Seed Economics. Commercial Considerations for Enterprise. Management in Developing Countries. ICARDA, Allepo, Syria, 108-112.

Lazarenko LM, Bezrukov VF (2008). Dynamics of chromosomal instability in Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum L.): influence of seed storage temperature. Cytology and Genetics 42(5):335-341.

Li X, Wang Q (2005). The effect of different water content on vigour of Welsh onion seeds. Seed 24(4):12-15 (in Chinese).

Li X, Wang Q (2006). The changes of the seed vigour of Welsh onion under ultra-dry storage. China Vegetables 8:10-13 (in Chinese).

Mathur SB, Kongsdal O (2003). Common laboratory seed health testing methods for detecting fungi. International Seed Testing Association, Bassersdorf, Switzerland.

Maude RB (1996). Seedborne Diseases and Their Control. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, 280.

Milivojević M, Ripka Z, Petrović T (2018). ISTA rules changes in seed germination testing at the beginning of the 21st century. Journal on Processing and Energy in Agriculture 22(1):40-45.

Padula G, Hołubowicz R (2022). Welsh onion will be popular on the market again. Warzywa 5:30-31 (in Polish).

Padula G, Xia XZ, Hołubowicz R (2022). Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum L.) seed physiology, breeding, production and trade. Plants 11:343-354. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11030343

Pitt JI (1999). Penicillium/Introduction. In: Robinson RK, Batt CA, Patel PD (Eds). Encyclopedia of Food Microbiology. Elsevier, pp 1647-1655. https://doi.org/10.1006/rwfm.1999.1235

Ponnuswami V, Geetharani P, Swaminathan V (2012). Seed storage. In: Seed Technology of Horticultural Crops. Narendra Publishing House, Delhi, India, pp 246-251.

Singh P, Asati BS (2018). Onion. In: Seed Production Technology of Vegetables. Astral International Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India, pp 215-224.

Tang P, Cui LW, Zhang YL, Hua CY, Zhang YL (2011). Research of storage processing techniques in Allium fistulosum L. var. giganteum Makino seed. Horticulture & Seed 3:28-29. (in Chinese).

Trail P, Danmalidoi Y, Pler SM, Bicksler A, Thansrithong B (2019). Low-cost natural building options for storing seed in Tropical Southeast Asia. ECHO Asia Notes 38:6-8.

Tylkowska K, Dorna H (1996). The relationships between the health status of onion (Allium cepa L.) seeds and their viability and vigour. Phytopathologia Polonica (12):63-77.

Tylkowska K, Dorna H (2001). Onion (Allium cepa L.) seed and plant health with special references to Botrytis allii Munn. Phytopathologia Polonica 21:55-68.

Valdez JG, Makuch MA, Ordovini AF, Frisvad JC, Overy DP, Masuelli RW, Piccolo RJ (2009). Identification, pathogenicity and distribution of Penicillium spp. isolated from garlic in two regions in Argentina. Plant Pathology 58:352-361. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3059.2008.01960.x

Wang ZM, Niu Y, Tang QL, Song M, Li XW (2011). Studies on seed vigour and antioxidant ability of Chinese onion seed stored with different moisture contents. Journal of Southwest University (Natural Science Edition) 33(10):12-16 (in Chinese).

Watanabe T (2002). Pictorial Atlas of Soil and Seed Fungi: Morphologies of Cultured Fungi and Key to Species. Second Edition, CRC Press, pp 506.

Yanping Y, Rongqi G, Qingquan S, Shengfu L (2000). Vigour of Welsh onion seeds in relation to storage temperature and seed moisture content. Seed Science and Technology 28(3):817-823.

Zhang HY, Meng SC, Kong XH (2001). Study on the physiological-biochemical characteristics of Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum L.) seed under ultra-low moisture content. Acta Agriculturae Boreali-Sinica 16(4):47-51 (in Chinese).



How to Cite

PADULA, G., XIA, X., SZOPIŃSKA, D., & HOŁUBOWICZ, R. (2022). Effect of air temperature and relative humidity on the stored Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum L.) seeds. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 50(4), 12956. https://doi.org/10.15835/nbha50312956



Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha50312956