Seeds: Collection, Storage and Treatment
A typical seed includes three basic parts: (1) an embryo, the baby plant; (2) a supply of nutrients for the embryo, endosperm and (3) a seed coat. The seed coat (testa) develops from the integument of the ovule. It can be a paper-thin layer (e.g. peanut) or something more thick and hard (Gulmohor, Teak, Gmelina). The seed coat helps in protecting the embryo from mechanical injury and from drying out. Seeds are fragile, living organisms, and the self-life of the seed is affected at the beginning of the plant life cycle. Because seed is routinely stored for more than 1 year, it is important that after harvesting of seeds, they should be processed and stored properly. The most important effects on seed viability and vigour are harvesting, extraction, cleaning, transportation and storage. It is easy for seeds to become damaged at any of these stages.