Authors: *Kana Ram Kumawat, Ravi Kumar and Sarla Kumawat
Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, S.K.N. Agriculture University
Jobner-303329, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Seed is matured ovule that consisting of an embryonic plant together with a store of food, all surrounded by a protective coat and it is a basic input in agriculture. Importance of seed is the vital input in crop production because through seed only the investment made on other inputs like pesticide, fertilizer, irrigation and crop maintenance can be realized. The seed required for raising the crop is quite small and its cost is also less compare to other inputs, but the greater income farmer gets depends upon the quality of the small quantity of seed he uses. In addition to above seed is the basic for the following event of agriculture.
- A carrier of new technologies.
- A basic tool for secured food supply.
- The principal means to secure crop yields in less favourable production areas.
- A medium for rapid rehabilitation of agriculture in cases of natural disaster.
Seed quality is the possession of seed with required genetic and physical purity that is accompanied with physiological soundness and health status. Without the use of good quality seed, the investments incurred on fertilizers, pesticides and water will not pay dividend. The major seed quality characters are summarized as below.
1. Physical Quality:
It is the cleanliness of seed from other seeds, debris, inert matter, diseased seed and insect damaged seed. The seed with physical quality should have uniform size, weight, and colour and should be free from stones, debris, and dust, leafs, twigs, stems, flowers, fruit well without other crop seeds and inert material. Lack of this quality character will indirectly influence the field establishment and planting value of seed. This quality character could be obtained with seed lots by proper cleaning and grading of seed (processing) after collection and before sowing / storage.
2. Genetic Purity:
It is the true to type nature of the seed. i.e., the seedling / plant / tree from the seed should resemble its mother in all aspects. This quality character is important for achieving the desired goal of raising the crop either yield or for resistance or for desired quality factors.
3. Physiological Quality:
Physiological quality characters of seed comprises of seed germination and seed vigour.
The liveliness of a seed is known as viability. The extent of liveliness for production of good seedling or the ability of seed for production of seedling with normal root and shoot under favourable condition is known as germinability. Seed vigour is the energy or stamina of the seed in producing elite seedling. It is the sum total of all seed attributes that enables its regeneration of under any given conditions.
4. Seed Health:
Health status of seed is nothing but the absence of insect infestation and fungal infection, in or on the seed. Seed should not be infected with fungi or infested with insect pests as these will reduce the physiological quality of the seed and also the physical quality of the seed in long term storage. The health status of seed influences the seed quality characters directly and warrants their soundness in seed for the production of elite seedlings at nursery / field.
The quality seed should have:
- High pure seed percentage (physical purity)
- High genetic purity
- High germinability
- High vigour
- Higher field establishment
- Free from pest and disease
- Good shape, size, colour etc., according to the specification of variety
- High longevity / shelf life.
- Optimum moisture content for storage
- High market value
Significance of quality seed:
- It ensures genetic and physical purity of the crops
- It gives desired plant population
- It have capacity to withstand the adverse conditions
- Seedlings produced will be more vigorous, fast growing and can resist pest and disease incidence to certain extent
- It 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.
1. Sen, S. and Ghosh, N. (2012). Seed Science and Technology. 2nd Revised and Enlarged Edition, Kalyani Publishers, New Delhi.
2. Singh, B.D. (2015) Plant Breeding Principles and Methods. 10th Revised Edition, Kalyani Publishers, New Delhi.
3. Internet (IASRI)
About Author / Additional Info: