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

Seed Biology and Quality

Delivering improved varieties and crop protection through high quality seed is a vital component of modern agricultural production systems. It is critical that seed producers and marketers have an understanding of the biological factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of seed health, vigor and viability, and how those qualities are measured. This course presents the scientific background and technical protocols for assessing, enhancing and maintaining high seed quality and updates participants on new information in these topics, including seed pathology and enhancement. The course targets quality assurance professionals in the seed industry, new employees, consultants, breeders and seed producers to extend and update their knowledge. 

Course Topics

  • Seed development and maturation
  • Seed vigor and viability
  • Seed health and phytosanitation 
  • Seed testing
  • Seed enhancement
  • Seed longevity and storage
  • Seed biotechnology 

Seed Biology and Quality Instructors

J. Derek Bewley, University Professor Emeritus, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Although no longer actively involved in research, over the years his laboratory has focused mainly on the involvement of cell wall degrading enzymes, hemicellulases, in germination, seedling establishment, fruit development and ripening. More than 40 students at the MSc and PhD levels have graduated from his lab, and we have hosted many visitors and project students. 


Kent J. Bradford, Professor, Department of Plant Sciences and Director, Seed Biotechnology Center, University of California, Davis, CA, USA. His research is focused on the development, maintenance, and expression of seed quality; plant water relations; developmental and growth regulation.





Henk W.M. Hilhorst, Professor, Department of Plant Physiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. His research is focused on the genetical genomics of plants.




Hiroyuki Nonogaki, Professor, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA. His current research focuses on the fundamental question: how do plant seeds germinate? He tries to elucidate the mechanism of seed germination using biochemical and molecular biological approaches


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