Non-parasitic Seed Disorders of Major Agricultural Crops

  • Anju BalaEmail author


Non-parasitic seed disorders are the abnormalities in seeds caused by environmental and nutritional stresses, alterations in genetic makeup, or some mechanical injuries caused to the seeds during harvesting and handling of the crop. These disorders are not caused by any infectious agent, but they can make the seed susceptible to infection by many pathogens. This chapter describes the identification, cause, and management of seed disorders of field and vegetable crops. Disorders caused by environmental stresses like high or low temperature, humidity, moisture, frost, and drought are generally irreversible; however, their incidence can be minimized by opting suitable sowing and harvesting time along with providing adequate seed storage conditions. Disorders like yellow berry, hollow heart, and marsh spot, which are caused by the deficiency of different nutrients, can be avoided by providing a balanced nutrition to the seed crops by soil and foliar application of the deficient nutrients. Mechanical injuries during threshing and seed processing also result in many seed disorders. Baldhead or snakehead in beans, for example, is a common disorder that occurs due to injury at any stage including harvesting, threshing, cleaning, or during seed sowing operations. Disorders caused by genetic mutations can be reduced by breeding for stress-resistant cultivars of various crops by gene transfer and devising efficient screening protocols to screen genotypes against various abiotic stresses.


  1. Agarwal VK, Sinclair JB (1996) Principles of seed pathology, 2nd edn. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton/New York/London/Tokyo, pp 317–318Google Scholar
  2. Aslam M, Maqbool MA, Cengiz R (2015) Drought stress in maize (Zea mays L.): effects, resistance mechanisms, global achievements and biological strategies for improvement. Springer, Cham. isbn:978-3-319-25442-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boyle MG, Boyer JS, Morgan PW (1991) Stem infusion of liquid culture medium prevents reproductive failure in maize at low water potential. Crop Sci 31:1246–1252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bramlage WJ, Leopold AC, Parrish DJ (1978) Chilling stress to soybeans during imhibition. Plant Physiol 61(4):525–529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Frederick JR, Camp CR, Bauer PJ (2001) Drought stress effects on branches and main stem seed yield and yield components of determinate soybean. Crop Sci 41:759–763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gaylon M, Isakeit T, Christi C (2017) Keys to profitable flax production in Texas. AgriLife Extension Texas A&M System. Available via DIALOG Accessed on 11 Oct 2017
  7. Lopez FB, Johansen C, Chauhan YS (1996) Effect of timing of drought stress on phenology, yield and yield components of short-duration pigeon pea. J Agron Crop Sci 177:311–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Odvody GN, Spencer N, Remmers J (1997) A description of silk cut, a stress-related loss of kernel integrity in pre harvest maize. Plant Dis 81(5):439–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Patra S, Sharma RN, Naik ML (2011) Effect of varying temperatures on seed and seedling vigor in bold seeded chickpea genotypes. J Phytology 3(4):38–41Google Scholar
  10. Perry DA, Harrison JG (1973) Causes and development of hollow heart in pea seeds. Ann Appl Biol 73(1):95–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Perry DA, Howell PJ (2007) Symptoms and nature of hollow heart in pea seeds. Plant Pathol 14(3):111–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Thuzar M, Puteh AB, Abdullah NAP et al (2010) The effects of temperature stress on the quality and yield of soybean (Glycine max L.). J Agric Sci 2(1):172–179Google Scholar
  13. Vishunavat K (2016) Fundamentals of seed pathology. Kalyani Publishers, Ludhiana, pp 133–134Google Scholar
  14. Welbaum GE (1992) The development of “fishmouth” seeds during muskmelon fruit maturation and decay. HortScience 27(6):642. Scholar
  15. Welbaum GE (1999) Cucurbit seed development and production. HortTechnology 9(3):341–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Welbaum GE, Bradford KJ (1988) Water relations of seed development and germination in muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.): I. Water relations of seed and fruit development. Plant Physiol 86(2):406–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Welbaum GE, Tissaoui T, Bradford KJ (1990) Water relations of seed development and germination in muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.): III. Sensitivity of germination to water potential and abscisic acid during development. Plant Physiol 92(4):1029–1037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. White DG (1999) Non infectious or abiotic diseases. In: Compendium of corn diseases, 3rd edn. APS Press, The American Phytopathological Society, St PaulGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Seed Technology Section, Department of Plant Breeding and GeneticsPunjab Agricultural UniversityLudhianaIndia

Personalised recommendations