Seeds pp 377-420 | Cite as

Seeds and Germination

Some Agricultural and Industrial Aspects
  • J. Derek Bewley
  • Michael Black


The fundamental importance of germination physiology to agriculture and horticulture is so obvious that it need hardly be stated, for almost all of our reliance on plants depends ultimately on the germinability of their seeds. The most straightforward dependence is when seeds are the starting materials for crops; in this case, we require that they have high viability, that their germination capacity is high (and therefore that they have no dormancy, at least under the conditions experienced during cultivation), and that germination is completed uniformly so as to produce vigorous plants closely similar in their stage of growth. All of these requirements concern aspects of seed physiology and biochemistry that have been covered in previous chapters. Also critical, especially when seeds are used directly as human or animal food, are the events occurring during seed development and maturation when the seeds’ storage reserves are deposited, for the processes taking place then govern the quality and amount of materials that are nutritionally important. Another extremely important consideration is the place of seeds in the conservation of biodiversity, and as sources of material for plant breeding and plant improvement. Seeds are gene repositories which in most cases can be conveniently stored and preserved. It is extremely important that the efficiency with which this is done is maximized to secure high levels of seed longevity and quality.


Somatic Embryo Somatic Embryogenesis Synthetic Seed Barley Grain Seed Longevity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Useful Literature References

Section 9.2

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Section 9.3

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Section 9.4

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Section 9.5

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Derek Bewley
    • 1
  • Michael Black
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Division of Life Sciences, King’s CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonEngland

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