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Concept
of
SEED QUALITY TESTING
Prof. Kumari Rajani
Department of Seed Science & Technology
Bihar Agricultural University
Sabour, Bhagalpur-813210
“Seed quality is a relative term and means the degree of
excellence when compared to an acceptable standard”
The seeds having required standards of purity,
germination and other quality attributes are referred as
quality seeds
It helps in higher production to ensure food security
It also helps in efficient utilization of other inputs like fertilizer and
irrigation
With the adoption of modern agricultural techniques, seed growers
are becoming more aware of importance of high quality seed that is
capable of rapid and uniform emergence under a wide range of
environmental conditions
Seed Quality Concept
Ensures genetic and physical purity of the crops
Gives desired plant population
Capacity to withstand the adverse conditions
Seedlings produced will be more vigourous, fast growing and can
resist pest and disease incidence to certain extent
Ensures uniform growth and maturity
Development of root system will be more efficient that aids
absorption of nutrients efficiently and result in higher yield
It will respond well to added fertilizer and other inputs
Good quality seeds of improved varieties ensures higher yield
atleast 10–12 %
Significance of Quality Seed
Seed Quality Attributes
SEED QUALITY TESTING is the science of evaluating
the planting value of the seeds
Seed
Quality
Germination
percentage
Seed vigour
Genetic purity of seeds refers to the trueness to type conforming to
the characteristics of the variety as described by the breeder
If the seed possesses all the genetic qualities that breeder has placed in
the variety, it is said to be genetically pure
It has direct effect on ultimate yields. If there is any deterioration in
the genetic make up of the variety during seed multiplication and
distribution cycle, there would definitely be proportionate decrease in
its performance
The characteristics of the cultivar must be maintained through all the
stages of seed multiplication
It is, therefore, necessary to ensure genetic purity during production
cycles
Genetic Purity
Minimum Standards for genetic purity
IMSCS, 2013
Class of Seed Standards for Minimum Genetic
Purity (%)
Breeder Seed 100.00
Foundation Seed 99.00
Certified Seed
(i) Varieties, composites,
synthetics & multilines
98.00
(ii) Hybrids 95.00
(iii) Hybrids of cotton, TPS,
muskmelon,brinjal & tomato
90.00
(vi) Hybrid castor 85.00
Physical purity of a seed lot refers to the physical composition of
seed lots
A seed lot is composed of pure seeds, inert matter, weed seeds and
other crop seeds
The seed must be morphologically well developed, undamaged and
have the characteristics typical of the species or cultivar
Higher the content of pure seed the better would be the seed
quality
Pure seed considered together with seed germination determine
the planting value of the seed
Physical Purity
It is the emergence and development of the seedling to a stage where
the aspect of its essential structures indicates whether or not it is able
to develop further into a satisfactory plant under favorable conditions
in the field.
The germination percentage indicates the proportion by number of
seeds which have produced seedlings classified as normal under the
conditions and within the period specified for each species i.e. the
percentage of normal seedlings.
Seed Germination
Most field conditions are not optimal, however and even if they
are, some seeds will still be attacked by rodents, birds, insects;
or will fall on or under a stone; or will fail to grow because of
weed competition.
The seed must meet at least the minimum standard
germination percentage.
Crops
Minimum Germination
Percentage
Maize (Composite, Synthetic, OPV)
90
Wheat, Oat, Barley,Triticale, Chickpea
85
Paddy, Maize (Inbred lines, Hybrid),
Horsegram
80
Sorghum, Pearlmillet, Urd, Lentil, Pigeon
pea, Pea, Cowpea, Moong, Lathyrus
75
“The moisture content is the amount of water in the seed and is
usually expressed as a percentage”
The moisture content of a sample is the loss in weight when it is dried.
It is expressed as a percentage of the weight of the original sample
either on wet weight basis or dry weight basis.
The seed must be sufficiently dry and must be kept in moisture proof
containers if it is to reach farmer in proper condition.
It is the main determinant of whether seed will keep its germination
capacity from harvest to sowing.
The laboratory moisture test can be carried out simply and accurately.
But, in seed stores and during seed processing, portable moisture
meters can help to make quick on-the-spot assessment of moisture.
Moisture Content
Seed Health
Seed must be free from diseases and insects pest. This can be
achieved by producing seed in disease free areas, applying
strict preventive measures and plant protection measures
“Health of seed refers primarily to the presence or absence of
disease-causing organisms, such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, and
animal pests, including nematodes and insects, but
physiological conditions such as trace element deficiency may
be involved”
(ISTA, 2015)
“Seed vigour is the sum of those properties that determine the
activity and performance of seed lots of acceptable
germination in a wide range of environments”
(ISTA, 2015)
Seed vigour is not a single measurable property, but is a concept
describing several characteristics associated with the
following aspects of seed lot performance:
 Rate and uniformity of seed germination and seedling
growth
 Emergence ability of seeds under unfavourable
environmental conditions
 Performance after storage, particularly the retention of the
ability to germinate
Seed Vigour
A vigorous seed lot is one that is potentially able to perform
well even under environmental conditions which are not
optimal for the species
While germination capacity represents the ability to produce
seedling under good field conditions, vigor represents the
capacity under poor conditions
Lots with the same germination capacity may perform quite
differently under adverse or suboptimal conditions, especially
those with low germination capacity
Objectives of Seed Testing
1. To determine the seed quality “their sustainability for planting”
2. To identify seed quality problems and their probable causes
3. To determine if seed meets established quality standards or labelling
specifications
4. To establish quality and provide a basis for price and consumer
discrimination among lots in the market
5. To determine the need for drying and processing
Important Milestones in Seed Testing
1869: 1st Seed Testing Lab was established in Thrandt, Saxony, Germany by Friedrich Nobbe
1924: International Seed Testing Association
1961: Four Seed Testing Laboratory was established in India
1. Central Seed Testing Laboratory, IARI, New Delhi
2. State Seed Testing Laboratory, Hyderabad, AP
3. State Seed Testing Laboratory, Ludhiana, Punjab
4. State Seed Testing Laboratory, Patna, Bihar
1967: First Seed Testing Manual was published in India
2020: 90* State Seed Testing Laboratory
2 Central Seed Testing Laboratory
a. National Seed Research & Training Centre, Varanasi
(For testing of all seeds except Bt. Cotton Seed)
b. Central Institute of Cotton Research, Nagpur
(Only for testing Bt. Cotton Seed)
“Father
of
Seed Testing”
5% Re-testing programme of seed samples: Under the 5% Re-
testing programme, CSTL is testing 5% samples received from
notifies state seed testing laboratories across the country free
of cost.
Court referred seed samples: Under this programme, CSTL is
testing seed samples received from the Hon’ble court.
The seed testing fee of Rs. 10/- sample is required
NATIONAL SEED RESEARCH AND TRAINING CENTRE, VARANASI
(DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, COOPERATION AND FARMERS WELFARE)
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE
• 1931 Establishment
 Germination
 Purity
 Genuineness of variety
 weight determinations
 determination of moisture content
• 1966: Introduction of Seed Health Methods
• 1966: Introduction of the topographicalTetrazolium test
• 2001: Introduction of Vigour methods
• 2004: Performance based methods for specified trait testing
(GM) was introduced
Development of seed testing methodologies
1. Seed sampling
2. Physical purity
3. Germination
4. Seed moisture
5. Seed health
6. Seed Vigour
7. Genetic Purity
“INCORRECT SAMPLING may lead to misleading test results, discarding seed lots of
high quality or to the approval of seed lots of low quality, which may reduce crop
yield or even result in complete failure” Arne wold (1986)
Important Components of Seed Testing
130 notified labs in the public sector and 50 in the private sector.
However, only 26 labs of the total 180 were functioning with ISTA
support and only 8 of them have ISTA recognition.
The seed testing lab established by the Telangana State Seed and
Organic Certification Authority (TSSOCA) with the nomenclature of
Telangana International Seed Testing Authority (TISTA) at
Rajendranagar with international standards and modern testing
equipment/machinery by investing ₹7 crore and it took about four
years to establish the lab.
It’s second public sector seed lab in country to get ISTA accreditation
The lab would help ascertain germination percentage, moisture
content, physical and genetic purity in seed and other tests with
international standards. The lab would also take up all seed tests
required for seed exports in the single-window method.

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Concept of Seed Quality Testing.pdf

  • 1. Concept of SEED QUALITY TESTING Prof. Kumari Rajani Department of Seed Science & Technology Bihar Agricultural University Sabour, Bhagalpur-813210
  • 2. “Seed quality is a relative term and means the degree of excellence when compared to an acceptable standard” The seeds having required standards of purity, germination and other quality attributes are referred as quality seeds It helps in higher production to ensure food security It also helps in efficient utilization of other inputs like fertilizer and irrigation With the adoption of modern agricultural techniques, seed growers are becoming more aware of importance of high quality seed that is capable of rapid and uniform emergence under a wide range of environmental conditions Seed Quality Concept
  • 3. Ensures genetic and physical purity of the crops Gives desired plant population Capacity to withstand the adverse conditions Seedlings produced will be more vigourous, fast growing and can resist pest and disease incidence to certain extent Ensures uniform growth and maturity Development of root system will be more efficient that aids absorption of nutrients efficiently and result in higher yield It will respond well to added fertilizer and other inputs Good quality seeds of improved varieties ensures higher yield atleast 10–12 % Significance of Quality Seed
  • 4. Seed Quality Attributes SEED QUALITY TESTING is the science of evaluating the planting value of the seeds Seed Quality Germination percentage Seed vigour
  • 5. Genetic purity of seeds refers to the trueness to type conforming to the characteristics of the variety as described by the breeder If the seed possesses all the genetic qualities that breeder has placed in the variety, it is said to be genetically pure It has direct effect on ultimate yields. If there is any deterioration in the genetic make up of the variety during seed multiplication and distribution cycle, there would definitely be proportionate decrease in its performance The characteristics of the cultivar must be maintained through all the stages of seed multiplication It is, therefore, necessary to ensure genetic purity during production cycles Genetic Purity
  • 6. Minimum Standards for genetic purity IMSCS, 2013 Class of Seed Standards for Minimum Genetic Purity (%) Breeder Seed 100.00 Foundation Seed 99.00 Certified Seed (i) Varieties, composites, synthetics & multilines 98.00 (ii) Hybrids 95.00 (iii) Hybrids of cotton, TPS, muskmelon,brinjal & tomato 90.00 (vi) Hybrid castor 85.00
  • 7. Physical purity of a seed lot refers to the physical composition of seed lots A seed lot is composed of pure seeds, inert matter, weed seeds and other crop seeds The seed must be morphologically well developed, undamaged and have the characteristics typical of the species or cultivar Higher the content of pure seed the better would be the seed quality Pure seed considered together with seed germination determine the planting value of the seed Physical Purity
  • 8. It is the emergence and development of the seedling to a stage where the aspect of its essential structures indicates whether or not it is able to develop further into a satisfactory plant under favorable conditions in the field. The germination percentage indicates the proportion by number of seeds which have produced seedlings classified as normal under the conditions and within the period specified for each species i.e. the percentage of normal seedlings. Seed Germination
  • 9. Most field conditions are not optimal, however and even if they are, some seeds will still be attacked by rodents, birds, insects; or will fall on or under a stone; or will fail to grow because of weed competition. The seed must meet at least the minimum standard germination percentage. Crops Minimum Germination Percentage Maize (Composite, Synthetic, OPV) 90 Wheat, Oat, Barley,Triticale, Chickpea 85 Paddy, Maize (Inbred lines, Hybrid), Horsegram 80 Sorghum, Pearlmillet, Urd, Lentil, Pigeon pea, Pea, Cowpea, Moong, Lathyrus 75
  • 10. “The moisture content is the amount of water in the seed and is usually expressed as a percentage” The moisture content of a sample is the loss in weight when it is dried. It is expressed as a percentage of the weight of the original sample either on wet weight basis or dry weight basis. The seed must be sufficiently dry and must be kept in moisture proof containers if it is to reach farmer in proper condition. It is the main determinant of whether seed will keep its germination capacity from harvest to sowing. The laboratory moisture test can be carried out simply and accurately. But, in seed stores and during seed processing, portable moisture meters can help to make quick on-the-spot assessment of moisture. Moisture Content
  • 11. Seed Health Seed must be free from diseases and insects pest. This can be achieved by producing seed in disease free areas, applying strict preventive measures and plant protection measures “Health of seed refers primarily to the presence or absence of disease-causing organisms, such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, and animal pests, including nematodes and insects, but physiological conditions such as trace element deficiency may be involved” (ISTA, 2015)
  • 12. “Seed vigour is the sum of those properties that determine the activity and performance of seed lots of acceptable germination in a wide range of environments” (ISTA, 2015) Seed vigour is not a single measurable property, but is a concept describing several characteristics associated with the following aspects of seed lot performance:  Rate and uniformity of seed germination and seedling growth  Emergence ability of seeds under unfavourable environmental conditions  Performance after storage, particularly the retention of the ability to germinate Seed Vigour
  • 13. A vigorous seed lot is one that is potentially able to perform well even under environmental conditions which are not optimal for the species While germination capacity represents the ability to produce seedling under good field conditions, vigor represents the capacity under poor conditions Lots with the same germination capacity may perform quite differently under adverse or suboptimal conditions, especially those with low germination capacity
  • 14. Objectives of Seed Testing 1. To determine the seed quality “their sustainability for planting” 2. To identify seed quality problems and their probable causes 3. To determine if seed meets established quality standards or labelling specifications 4. To establish quality and provide a basis for price and consumer discrimination among lots in the market 5. To determine the need for drying and processing
  • 15. Important Milestones in Seed Testing 1869: 1st Seed Testing Lab was established in Thrandt, Saxony, Germany by Friedrich Nobbe 1924: International Seed Testing Association 1961: Four Seed Testing Laboratory was established in India 1. Central Seed Testing Laboratory, IARI, New Delhi 2. State Seed Testing Laboratory, Hyderabad, AP 3. State Seed Testing Laboratory, Ludhiana, Punjab 4. State Seed Testing Laboratory, Patna, Bihar 1967: First Seed Testing Manual was published in India 2020: 90* State Seed Testing Laboratory 2 Central Seed Testing Laboratory a. National Seed Research & Training Centre, Varanasi (For testing of all seeds except Bt. Cotton Seed) b. Central Institute of Cotton Research, Nagpur (Only for testing Bt. Cotton Seed) “Father of Seed Testing”
  • 16. 5% Re-testing programme of seed samples: Under the 5% Re- testing programme, CSTL is testing 5% samples received from notifies state seed testing laboratories across the country free of cost. Court referred seed samples: Under this programme, CSTL is testing seed samples received from the Hon’ble court. The seed testing fee of Rs. 10/- sample is required NATIONAL SEED RESEARCH AND TRAINING CENTRE, VARANASI (DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, COOPERATION AND FARMERS WELFARE) MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE
  • 17. • 1931 Establishment  Germination  Purity  Genuineness of variety  weight determinations  determination of moisture content • 1966: Introduction of Seed Health Methods • 1966: Introduction of the topographicalTetrazolium test • 2001: Introduction of Vigour methods • 2004: Performance based methods for specified trait testing (GM) was introduced Development of seed testing methodologies
  • 18. 1. Seed sampling 2. Physical purity 3. Germination 4. Seed moisture 5. Seed health 6. Seed Vigour 7. Genetic Purity “INCORRECT SAMPLING may lead to misleading test results, discarding seed lots of high quality or to the approval of seed lots of low quality, which may reduce crop yield or even result in complete failure” Arne wold (1986) Important Components of Seed Testing
  • 19. 130 notified labs in the public sector and 50 in the private sector. However, only 26 labs of the total 180 were functioning with ISTA support and only 8 of them have ISTA recognition. The seed testing lab established by the Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Authority (TSSOCA) with the nomenclature of Telangana International Seed Testing Authority (TISTA) at Rajendranagar with international standards and modern testing equipment/machinery by investing ₹7 crore and it took about four years to establish the lab. It’s second public sector seed lab in country to get ISTA accreditation The lab would help ascertain germination percentage, moisture content, physical and genetic purity in seed and other tests with international standards. The lab would also take up all seed tests required for seed exports in the single-window method.