Seed Biotechnology Center
Seed Biotechnology Center
Seed Biotechnology Center
University of California
Seed Biotechnology Center

Seed Enhancement

Seed enhancement refers to various technologies used to increase the consistency of seed performance, thereby improving a crop’s harvested yield and quality. Seed enhancement technologies are gaining increasing attention for their potential to confer greater disease resistance in seeds, improve seed vigor and modify seed emergence capabilities. 

Seed coating refers to the application of materials to the seed surface, often containing seed protectants such as fungicides. In recent years, film coating, in which the active ingredient is applied in a quick-drying polymer film around the seed, has gained popularity. A major advantage of film coating is reduced loss of active material from the seed during seed transport and handling. Seed pelleting technologies are used to alter seed shape, surface properties, density and size to enable more precise seed singulation and placement in the planting tray or soil. Singulation eliminates clustering of seed that leaves too much or too little space between plants within a row. Seed pelleting is also used to deliver a range of beneficial additives, including micronutrients and plant protection agents.

Seed priming is used to increase germination rate (speed) and uniformity and overcome seed dormancy. In seed priming, seeds are hydrated in a controlled manner to provide enough water to initiate the metabolic processes of germination, but not enough to allow germination to be completed. Subsequently, the seeds are dried, distributed and planted in the usual way. Primed seed usually exhibit more rapid and uniform emergence of seedlings from the soil compared to non-primed seed of the same seed lot. These differences are greatest under adverse environmental conditions in the field, such as cold or hot soils. Primed seed often has a shorter shelf life than non-primed seed, and should be stored under optimal conditions prior to planting.

Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the set of chemical reactions that occur in living organisms in order to live. These processes allow organisms to generate energy, grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments.

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