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Single-seed respiration: a new method to assess seed quality

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Seed respiration is known to be related to seed vigour and quality, but other than indirectly via the tetrazolium test, has not been widely utilised as a seed quality test. A novel fluorescence-based method of measuring oxygen levels inside closed spaces enables the measurement and analysis of the respiratory patterns of individual seeds. The Q2 instrument, developed on this principle by ASTEC Global, can measure and analyse the respiratory activity of populations of individual seeds in a high-throughput manner. Indices derived from the oxygen consumption patterns (termed ASTEC values) were correlated to varying degrees with other measures of seed vigour across Brassica and onion seed lots. Germination rates of tomato and lettuce seeds that varied in response to seed priming and/or ageing were highly correlated with some measures of respiratory activity. The Q2 instrument provides an automated method of measuring respiratory activity of individual seeds with potential application for assessing seed quality.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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