Testing the Health of Seed

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DATE: MARCH 09, 2010


Testing the health of seeds stored under various conditions helps in diagnosing the kinds of pathogens that affect seeds, from this, an informed decision can be made on how to treat such pathogens by choosing the most appropriate condition for storage. Various methods were utilized in determining the health of seeds stored under both hot and cold conditions; these include direct examination, incubation test, agar plate test and seedling symptom test. The objective of the experiment was to observe and test the health of seeds stored under various conditions (hot and cold). The seeds stored under cold temperatures were the healthiest. However, some were still susceptible to fungal and bacterial growth. It was also found that some seeds stored under hot conditions did not show any sign of fungal growth, however bacterial growth and damage done by insects was detected. In essence, cold storage is the most appropriate condition for maintaining seed health.


The health of a plant depends on the health of the seed from which it was germinated. The health of a seed is related to the absence or presence of disease. Thus, a healthy seed can be defined a one that is free from diseases. A disease seed however, is an abnormal condition that impairs the seed’s function, viability and appearance. The seed is often the victim of diseases. Plant (seed) diseases may be caused by microorganisms and environmental factors. Thus it is important to perform seed health tests so as to maintain seed health and prevent the spread of seed diseases. Several methods were utilized in this experiment, these include; include direct examination, incubation testing (blotter and agar plating test), the seedling symptom tests and growing on tests. Other methods such as isolation of fungi from damped-off seedlings is a means of determining the type of pathogen responsible for damping-off,...
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