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ICAR-Indian Grassland and Fodder Research InstituteICAR-Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute
(Indian Council of Agricultural Research)
Near Pahuj Dam, Gwalior Road, Jhansi - 284 003 (UP) India
  0510-2730666, 2730158
  FAX: 0510-2730833
  Seed Testing & Physiology  

Seed testing involves mainly germination and physical purity testing of seeds. Research was conducted for developing suitable germination protocols and its enhancement in different range species as well as development of seed standards for quality estimation.

(a) Germination improvement and protocol development
icon Scarification of range legume seeds by coarse sand paper was most effective method for breaking the hard seed coat dormancy and enhancement of seed germination.

icon Seeds treatment with concentrated sulphuric acid for 5-7 min in Stylosanthes seabrana and Indigofera astragonoloba and for 15 minutes in Desmanthus virgatus is recommended for dormancy breaking.

icon In Brachiariabrizantha, Paspalumnaotatum, and Sehimanervosummaximum germination was recorded with the treatment of alternate temperature of 20-30 0C (16h/8h), light with GA3 300ppm seed pre-treatment.

icon In S. seabrana and I. astragalina maximum germination (79% and 89%) was recorded in the seeds scarified by coarse sand paper, whereas, in D. Virgatus the seed germination enhanced by soaking of seeds in hot water (84%) followed by acid scarification (conc. sulphuric acid for 5 minutes) at the top of paper. In C. ternatea seed germination maximized by chipping treatments (77%).

icon In Bothriochloa intermedia, the upgraded seeds using the uniform blowing method with a test weight of 0.045g have enhanced the mean seed germination from 43 to 86 per cent, when tested under the alternating temperature regime of 20-35 0C 16h/8h and light condition.

icon In Sehima nervosumcv. Bundel Sen Ghas-1, Bothriochloa intermedia, Brachiaria decumbens, Setaria sphacelata and Heteropogon contortus cv. Bundel lampa-1, seed germination protocol was standardized as - invigoration of seeds in GA3 (100 ppm) and/or thiourea (0.2%) at alternate temperature of 20 - 350C (16 h / 8h) under light environments on top of the papers (TP).

icon 6 - 8 months dormancy period was observed for good seed germination in Brachiaria brizantha, Paspalum naotatum, Panicum maximum and Sehima nervosum.

icon Seed germination in Cenchrus ciliaris cv. CAZRI-358 was improved to 48% when treated with 0.2% KNO3 as compared to control (33%).

icon The seeds of Panicum antidotale CAZRI 347 pretreated with GA3 @500 ppm showed 60% germination as compared to 35% control at 20 -30 0C temperature.

icon Seeds of Clitoria, siratro and Stylo soaked in hot water (60oC) for half an hour gave maximum germination. Soaking of Cenchrus ciliaris seeds in fresh water from 8 to 10 hours before sowing was found effective for improved germination.

(b) Physical purity analysis in grasses
icon The seed samples of range grasses, viz. Sehima nervosum, Bothriochloa intermedia, Brachiaria decumbens, Dichanthium annulatum, Chrysopogon fulvus and Heteropogon contortus were analyzed for their physical purity. The inert matter varied from 0.85% to 2.50% in different samples as seed picking was done manually.

icon The working sample size for purity analysis were calculated for C. fulvus (9.25 g), P. pedicellatum (5.10 g), S. sphacelata (3.40 g), P. maximum (1.96 g) and C. ciliaris (6.24 g).

(c) Physiological seed maturity
icon The formation of pure germinating seed (PGS) in Deenanath grass was found to be greater than 90% but under normal harvest practice only 20-60% of seed was found in the fluff which was also confirmed by soft X-ray radiography. It was observed that a lot of PGS are being dropped during harvesting due to its floral structure. Thus, the stage of harvest at physiological maturity is very crucial in optimizing recovery of PGS. Research is under progress to found suitable maturity indices for maximum recovery of true seed during harvest.

(d) External hormonal/chemical application
icon The germination of guinea grass seeds obtained after treating the plants with 100ppm IAA at inflorescence stage was doubled (45%) as compared to control (23%). Similar kind of research is under progress in different range species using various hormones and chemicals.

icon It was found that when 4 kg KNO3 was sprayed at pre anthesis stage, guar gave 26% higher seed yield under rainfed conditions as it enhanced the pod retention capacity owing to longer period of photo-synthetically functional state of the guar plant.

(e) Seed Physiology

icon The Guar varieties (GL18, 80 and 12) having moderate dark respiration (5-6mg CO2/g dm/ h) and efficient translocation mechanism of sugars to reproductive organs have resulted in higher seed yield.

icon More leaf width and less top Internodal length favoured the synthesis and translocation of sugar in flower of sorghum. Foliar application of boron (1 g/l) at anthesis improved the seed setting and yield of sorghum because of rapid utillizatton of phosphorylated sugars during grain synthesis.

icon It was found that less sugar accumulation in collar region at the time of leaving the crop for seed was one of the causes of low seed yield in berseem. The sugar accumulation in collar region was improved by the spray of superphosphate (2 kg P2O5/ha) + KNO3 (4 kg/ha) which ultimately Increased seed yield.

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