germination in a laboratory practice is defined as the
emergence and development of the essential structures from a
seed embryo which are indicative of the ability to produce a
normal plant under favorable conditions.
The A.O.S.A. rules
for testing seed sets standards that enable a seed
technologist to produce test results that are accurate,
meaningful and reproducible. These data measure the
commercial value of seed and provide information for
A minimum of 400 seeds is required for an
A.O.S.A. or I.S.T.A. official germination test.
submitting samples, the laboratory needs to receive at least
400 seeds, but we prefer that the customer send 600 to 1000
seeds of a uniform representative sample of the lot being
This allows us to perform a retest or paired test if
needed, without delaying test results.
Germination tests at the Ransom Seed Lab include a
routine check for dormancy following the prescribed
germination period. Total viability is then determined by
tetrazolium chloride (TZ) or other dormancy breaking
It is important to understand the difference
between germination and total viability. Germination % is
measured in one moment in time, whereas total viability
measures the ultimate plant producing ability of the seed