Seed germination

Seedling establishment is a crucial stage for plant production. High seed quality is necessary in agriculture to produce food worldwide. Seeds are pillar inputs to grow many crops. If seeds have low quality, translated in the inability to germinate or by having a low vigour, then production will be threatened. Assessing seed germination using state of the art technologies, can contribute to increase yields and thus sustain food security.

High throughput phenotyping of a large number of seed and seedling traits becomes a great challenge to contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms which lead to the establishment of a vigorous crop stand. Seed vigour and seedling establishment have, in several species, been related to the time course of germination.

However, the production of time course curves for seed lots is difficult and time consuming. An automated system for seed germination scoring is a more efficient alternative. Such a system, capable of generating the time courses for large numbers of seeds, illustrates its application to compare breeding lines and seed lots of a number of species.

Our cutting edge technologies to phenotype seed germination in a high throughput fashion using digital image analysis will allow a quick and tefficient selection by controlling seed germination.