A Contribution of ICAR National Fellow Project

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Methods for Seed Germination Experiments
Seed Germinator: The seed germination test is to be conducted in Seed Germinator Chamber. The chamber is a modification of the germination cabinet, but is large enough to permit workers to enter it and place the tests along the either side of the way. It consists of double walled structure suitably insulated against temperature changes by an air jacket or layers of insulating material. 
Germination paper: The specifications are as follows -
Composition:Thefibre content of the paper should be 100 per cent bleached chemical wood. It must be free of fungi or bacteria and toxic substances.
Texture: Open and porous nature, but texture should be such that the roots of the seedlings will grow on and not into the paper.
Strength: The paper possesses sufficient strength to enable it to resist tearing when handled during the test.
Moisture capacity: The paper should have the capacity to hold sufficient water for whole of the test period.
pH: 6-7.5
Wax paper: It is mainly for to cover the paper for and to write the details of the experiment.
Hot air oven: It is mainly for calculating dry weight of seedling.
Seed germination test
Standardization of water for seed treatment
One kilogram seed is to be taken in the plastic tray and 50 ml of water is poured in the tray containing seed that is sufficient to soak one kg of seed and mixed thoroughly with hand.
Seed treatment
The seeds are to be treated with test insecticides. The seeds are first spread on plastic tray. The desired quantity of the insecticide emulsion was then sprinkled on the seeds which were turned properly to ensure uniform seed coating. Treated seeds are then subjected to germination test after 24 hours.
Standard germination test (Between Paper Method: Agarwal, 1995)
The seeds are germinated between two layers of germination paper by placing the seeds in to folded envelops which were placed in upright position in the germination chamber. The temperature of the chamber is maintained at 20±1°C for Wheat and Chickpea and 25±1°C for Groundnut, Maize and Soybean throughout the germination period. Four replicates of 50 seeds from each treatment are sown in the paper towel. Normal seedlings, abnormal seedlings and in germinated seeds are to be counted 7-10 days after sowing as per the crop. Ten seedlings are randomly selected for measuring plumules, radicles and total length of seedlings.
Vigour Indices (VI): Observations to be taken are,
  • Mean values of radicles and plumules length of 10 seedlings in each replication 
  • Mean values of dry weight  of 10 seedlings in each replication (dry weight taken after 24 h in hot air oven at 800C).
Formulae for VI
Vigour Index (I) = Germination % x Mean of root and shoot length (cm)
                Vigour Index (II) = Germination % x Mean dry weight (g)
Crop-specific requirements (temperature, experimental period, and minimum recommended germination percentage), as recommended by ISTA
Sr. No
Name of crop
Temperature for germination test, 0C
Days require to take final count
Minimum germination recommended  (%)
      80 (composites)
90 (hybrids)
  • Tested doses of test insecticide(s) that proves least adverse effect on germination and other seedling parameters is to be selected by above experiment and this dose has been selected in compatibility test.
  • In this test also 350-400 seeds are to be taken and treat with sequence of insecticide – biofertilizer – biofungicide/ fungicides with above selected dose/level of insecticide and field recommended dose(s) of bio fertilizer and biofungicide.
  • Test-seeds (say, 300 nos) in triplication (100 seeds/replication) is to be kept for germination by ‘Between Paper Method’ in controlled condition of temperature and humidity.
  • Germination count is to be taken after 7-days; and germination percentage and vigour index is calculated by measuring following parameters – numbers of normal and abnormal seedlings and shoot and root length of ten seedlings from each replication.
  • Results of treated and control seedlings of test-crops is compared based on the appropriate and standard statistical analysis.


Last Updated: 04-01-2020

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