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Seed testing

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Seed testing

Seed testing is performed for a number of reasons, including research purposes or to determine if seed storage techniques are functioning. There are four tests most commonly done. The first two listed below are common for scientific research.

For commercially sold seed, all four of these tests are done in dedicated laboratories by trained and usually certified analysts. The tests are designed to evaluate the quality of the seed lot being sold.[1]

  • Germination test: Reports the percentage of seed that germinated. In commercial settings, tests are usually made in either 200 or 400 seed samples.
  • Viability or TZ test: A test for viability that involves three steps: 1. preconditioning (imbibition); 2. preparation and staining (sometimes cutting the seed and then soaking the seed in a 2,3,5 triphenyl tetrazolium chloride solution); and 3. evaluation (examining the seed for a color change in the embryo).
  • Purity test: The percentage of seed described on the label that is actually found in the quantity of seed.
  • Weed test: Examines a sample of seed and identifies every seed that is different from the labeled seed kind.

References

  1. ^ Society of Commercial Seed Technologists

Other information about practices in the USA can be found at the following sites:

  • Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies
  • Society of Commercial Seed Technologists
  • Association of American Seed Control Officials (AASCO)
  • Association of Official Seed Analysts
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