storage of lettuce seeds and its crossing

Lettuce varieties will cross with each other, making spacing of 5 to 20 feet (1.5 to 6.1 m) between varieties necessary to prevent contamination when saving seeds. Lettuce will also cross with Lactuca serriola (wild lettuce), with the resulting seeds often producing a plant with tough, bitter leaves. Celtuce, a lettuce variety grown primarily in Asia for its stems, crosses easily with lettuces grown for their leaves.[17] This propensity for crossing, however, has led to breeding programs using closely related species in Lactuca, such as L. serriola, L. saligna, and L. virosa, to broaden the available gene pool. Starting in the 1990s, such programs began to include more distantly related species such as L. tatarica.[32] Seeds keep best when stored in cool conditions, and, unless stored cryogenically, remain viable the longest when stored at −4 °F (−20 °C); they are relatively short lived in storage.[1] At room temperature, lettuce seeds remain viable for only a few months. However, when newly harvested lettuce seed is stored cryogenically, this life increases to a half-life of 500 years for vaporized nitrogen and 3,400 years for liquid nitrogen; this advantage is lost if seeds are not frozen promptly after harvesting.[33]