Duties of analysts
Sampling mixing and dividing equipments
Purity analysis equipments
Moisture testing equipment
Germination testing equipment
Seed health testing equipments
MANAGEMENT OF SEED TESTING LABORATORY
Seed testing is an essential component of the Seed
Programme. The Success of the seed programme is very much dependent on the
quality of the analysis work being carried out by the seed testing
laboratory. The analysis results provided by the laboratory on the sample
in question would make it fit or unfit for certification, sale or
Accordingly, it would be essential that the analysis result provided by
the seed testing laboratory must be accurate and reproducible to avoid the
problems in seed trade, distribution and seed certification or
legislation. The accuracy and reproducibility of the analysis results is
often influenced by the working conditions and the infrastructure
facilities (staff, space and equipment) available with the seed testing
laboratory. In addition, the management aspects of the work plan, would
also determine the quality of the analysis work. It would, therefore, be
essential that the organization of the work of the laboratory should be in
accordance with the established national or international norms and
procedures. The details of these norms are provided in the text.
norms of seed testing stipulate that the identity of the sample received
for analysis should not be made known to the person who is actually,
analyzing the seed sample. This would be helpful in avoiding personal
biasness in the analysis work. The samples received for testing in the
laboratory must be handled in such a way that these are placed for
germination within 24 hours of its receipt and the analysis results should
be communicated within a period of one month. To achieve these objectives,
it would be important that the seed testing laboratory should be
adequately equipped and staffed according to the needs. A seed testing
laboratory may serve the requirements for service testing, certification
or both. Accordingly, the requirements for staff and equipments would
testing laboratory must enjoy functional autonomy in its working. The
official seed testing laboratory should be independent to seed production
or certification. However, seed production or certification agencies may
operate their own seed testing laboratories. Such laboratories would serve
the needs for internal seed quality control of the organization.
person who had sufficient experience of analysis work and should be well
acquainted with the seed testing procedures, rules and regulations should
head the seed testing laboratory. The laboratory shall also require
specialists having thorough knowledge of purity analysis,
germination, moisture determination and possibly, seed health, vigor and
cultivar purity testing. In addition to these specialized skills, the
staff should be familiar with taxonomy and seed processing. Since seed testing is often seasonal with one or
two periods of peak load, the size of the staff must be carefully.
The requirement of technical and administrative staff for the
seed laboratory would also vary according to the situation. A new
laboratory would require less administrative staff while an esta1?lished
laboratory which is in full service and involved in the analysis of
certification or seed law enforcement samples may require sufficient
administrative staff for its smooth functioning.
for the execution of the work plan and programmes of the seed laboratory
lies with the head or in charge of the laboratory who must enjoy the
administrative and financial powers. In the absence of such arrangement,
it would be difficult for the in charge to provide efficient and effecting
functioning of the laboratory. The head of the laboratory is also expected
to maintain liaison with the various officials of seed production, certification and law
enforcement organizations and as such the seed laboratory needs to have a
vehicle and telephone facilities for day to day work. In managing the work
of the laboratory, the head of the seed laboratory must ensure the
The equipments are available and maintained in adequate manner.
The various working areas of the laboratory are rat-proof and the phyto-sanitary
conditions are excellent.
Supplies such as germination paper, germination sand, wax paper, glass
wares, and chemicals etc. are available with laboratory.
Records such as sample entry registers, analysis cards, reports etc. are
Prompt attention is paid to the sample received for -analysis.
Systematic procedures are used for the analysis of the samples. Samples
must be homogenized before obtaining working samples.
Germination samples are received in porous container such as cloth bag or
paper packed and the sample meant for moisture testing is packed in
moisture proof containers.
Physical purity analysis is completed prior to germination testing.
9. Germination substrata have been checked for its
suitability before its use.
The test results are calculated accurately and the supervisory staff duly
checks the analysis cards. .
Tolerance tables have been used in ascertaining the reproducibility of the
test results or need of retesting.
The guard samples are stored properly and disposed off after the expiry of
Duties of Analysts
i. Purity and Moisture Testing Section
a) To supervise work, equipments and supplies in
b) To ensure that samples are promptly prepared and
placed under analysis
c) To ensure that samples for moisture determination are analyzed
d) To make sure that samples are stored properly and maintained in good
e) To main the seed herbarium of crop and weed seeds.
f) To distribute the work amongst the analysts
g) Check the analysis of official and certified
seed samples personally h) To decide, when retesting is required, using
i) To check analysis report forms before they are
forwarded to germination section or the laboratory in charge.
ii. Germination and Seed Health Testing
a) To supervise work, equipment and supplies in the section.
b) To ensure that samples promptly undergo the test procedures and the
plating of the seed is arranged in such a manner that the day of
counting the seedlings will not coincide with weekends and holidays.
c) To distribute the work amongst analysts (technicians)
d) To ensure proper operation and functioning of the equipments
e) To ensure that proper methods for germination testing of the species
f) To decide when retesting is necessary, using
g) To make final evaluation of the germination
h) To check analysis cards before they are
iii. Technical Assistants
a) Do purity analysis work
b) Check purity analysis cards
c) Make moisture determination by oven drying
d) Ensure that the dividers and other equipments
are kept clean
e) Prepare sample for germination
f) Conduct germination tests
g) Evaluate the germination tests
h) Conduct tetrazolium test when required
i) Guide laboratory attendants in their work
j) Perform any other duty assigned time to time
iv. Laboratory Attendants.
a) Maintain the general cleanliness of the
laboratories. Clean the glass wares, and boxed, equipments and
furnishing of the laboratory on regular basis.
b) Prepare the sand and paper for germination tests
c) Help the technicians in respective sections
d) Perform other duties as assigned.
In order to achieve the goal of
uniformity, accuracy and reproducibility in the analysis results, it is
immensely important that the head of the laboratory must exercise
certain checks on the efficiency of the staff engaged in the analysis
work. The staff members must be subjected to examination or test system:
Another way of exercising checks is the 'referee testing' wherein the
same sample is analyzed by all the analysts (technicians) and the
analysis results are compared. Such arrangements would certainly enthuse
the confidence in the workers. Overtime work should be discouraged in
testing, as it would affect the-quality of the analysis work. It would
be desirable to have some technicians in training to further improve the
quality of the analysis work.
Financial support is
an important consideration for the smooth functioning of the laboratory.
The head of the laboratory should make the plans well in advance to
avoid problems in day to day work. Provision for the engagement of
causal workers should be made to overcome the extra load of work.
Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide budget for this purpose.
Time is an important consideration in seed
testing. The analysis results are required to be made available to the
user as quickly as possible. The head of seed testing laboratory must
ensure that the analysis results are communicated promptly within a
period of one month.
MIXING AND DIVIDING EQUIPMENTS
1. Seed Sampling Triers:
a) Single tube
seed sampling trier or size 90 cm in length, outside diameter at large
end 3.75 cm made of 1.60 mm (16 gauge) nickel plated brass sheet with
b) Single tube
seed sampling trier of size 50 cms in length outside diameter at large
end 2.50 cm; made of 1.25 mm (18 gauge) nickel plated brass sheet with
c) Double tube
seed sampling trier of size 90 cms in length and 2.50 cms diameter with
9 openings without partition; made of 1.60 mm (16 gauge) nickel plated
brass sheet with aluminum handle.
d) Double tube
seed sample trier of size 1.50 cm in length and 3.75 cms outside
diameter made of 1.60 mm (16 gauge) nickel plated brass sheet with
2. Soil Type
Soil type sample
divider made of stainless steel for dividing seed sample into 2 equal
portions by 2 series of chutes discharging alternately in opposite
direction into separate pans. Sample divider with hopper of size 28 cms
x 11.50 cms with stainless steel pans, scoop, cleaning brush and other
accessories suitable for handling seed sample of agricultural and
3. Sample Pans
pan of following sizes
30.48 cm x 30.64
cm x 5.08 cm; (12" x 16" x 2")
21.59 cm x 30.48
cm x 3.81 cm; (8.5' x 12' x 1.5")
12.70 cm x 15.24
cm x 2.22 cm; (5" x 6" x 7/8")
4. Pan Type
Pan type weighing
balance of capacity and sensitivity given below; with top loading
facilities and scoop of suitable size to hold seed sample of
agricultural and vegetable seeds with convenient pouring spout. Body
made of rust resistant metal or PVC.
a) 1 kg capacity
and 0.1 gm sensitivity .
b) 500-800 gm
capacity and 0.1 gm sensitivity.
1. Purity Table
'L' shaped wooden
table made of teak wood with SUNMICA top of size 135 cm x 45 cm + 90 cm
x 45 cm and 76 cm in height with cupboard along 135 cm side and shelves
along with 90 cm side .
Spatula made of 1
mm thick stainless steel or aluminum sheet of size 180cm x 27 mm with
(a) one end flat and other end pointed and (b) one end flat and other
nickel plated forceps for handling various agricultural and vegetable
a) 14 cm long with
medium serrated points.
b) 14 cm long with very fine smooth point.
Artist brush of
3cm trim size, with finished and polished wooden handle.
5. Purity Dishes
heavy /heavy gauge plastic with smooth/straight edge and flat bottom.
a) 6.25 cm dia
and 0.80 cm depth .
b) 7.cm dia and
1.60 cm depth. .
Magnifying lens of
3 power; 10 cm diameter and 18 cm focal length mounted on stand with
removable heavy metal base for hand use.
7. Hand Screens
Set of 8 nos. standard sieves ranging in diameter from 1 mm to 4mrn made
of wire mesh meeting ISI specification for size of opening and wire
diameter. Wire mesh should be mounted on brass frame of 20 cm dia and 9
8. Single Pan Electric Balance (Make Mettler or Sauter)
Single Pan Electric Balance of200 gms, capacity with 0.001 gms
sensitivity with top loading facility.
loading electric balance (Make Mettelr or Sauter)
Top loading digital/non-digital electric balance of 200, 800 gm capacity
with sensitivity of 0.01 to 0.001 gm
10. Fluorescent Lamp
Fluorescent lamp with two 20 watts fluorescent tubes and suitable
reflector mounted on perfectly balanced bronze baked enamel finished
flexible stand with heavy base and with provision for setting a desired
height and angle of focusing.
11. Ultra Violet Lamp
Tubular lamp mounted on adjustable stand. The unit should be supplied
with 6 tubes of various wave lengths and suitable for operation n
220-230 volts, single phase, 50 Hz, AC supply:
utilizing accurately controlled air flow through the air column by
calibrated valve cap on the top of the column. With provision for
automatic timber cut off for operation and shall have 3 column size to
accommodate various sizes for agricultural and vegetable seeds. The
equipment should be complete with all standard features including
suitable meter for operation on 220-230 volts, single phase, 50 Hz, AC
supply. Three sizes of air column are:
a) 3.8 cm -3.8 cm
with calibrated air valve .
b) 7.6 cm -7.6 cm
with calibrated air valve .
c) 10 cm- 10 cm
with calibrated air valve.
Binocular Microscope (Make Wild/Nikon/Olympus)
14. Purity Work Board
boards, made up of wooden blocks 4-6 numbers size 37.5 x 30cm and glass
slab of 40 x 30 cm size.
Hot Air Oven
Double walled hot air oven (inside made of thick anodized
aluminum and outside of mild steel sheet finished in oven baked white or
cream enamel) with inner chamber of size 420 mm x 420 mm x 360mm. The
gap between two walls is filled with suitable insulating material.
Heating of inner chamber by means of suitable heating elements placed in
ribs at the bottom and sides. The oven should be supplied with a
sensitive thermostat suitable for maintaining temperature of inner
chamber ranging from ambient to 2SoC with sensitivity of 1°C and
automatic timer in hours and minutes. Complete with all standard
features including built in thermometer of range 0 to 25C, two pilot
lamps and 3 perforated shelves out of which two adjustable to any height
and suitable for operation on
220-230 volts, single phase 50 Hz. AC supply. (The oven should be
provided with a fan for proper air circulation).
2. Sample Weighing Bottles
Sample weighing glass bottle of size not less
than 4.50 cm diameter and 3.00 cm height with air tight lid made of
corning/Pyrex glass or stainless steel/aluminum.
3. Seed Grinder
Seed grinder with polished chamber
of 40 mm diameter and 22 mm deep, two stationary blades and rotor with
four cutting edges.Two equipment should be suitable for grinding of
sample of agricultural and vegetable seeds. Complete with hopper, wooden
plunger, receiver and three deliver tubes with sieve tap of 40, 60 and
80 mesh size, with suitable tropicalized electric motor and starter
(confirming to ISI specifications) for operation 220-230 volts, single
phase, 50 Hz. AC Supply. The equipment should be housed in a
i.20 cm diameter
ii. 30 cm
Tongs made of
thick nickel plated brass wire suitable for holding sample weighing
bottles of size 3.50 cm diameter and 3.50 cm long.
6. Silica gel with Indicator
Granular silica gel of granules size ranging from
2.75 mm to 4.0 mm with indicator.
GERMINATION TESTING EQUIPMENTS
1. Sensitive and accurate thermometer
accurate thermometer with range of temperature from 0 to 50°C and 0-150C
with 1°C division.
2. Dry and Wet
'Zeal' make dry
and wet bulb thermometer with temperature range of 5 to 50°C with
division of 1°C. Complete in all respect.
165 litres (5.8 cu ft) capacity with suitable and balanced compressor
unit. The refrigerator should have freezer of 28 litres (1 cu ft)
capacity. The unit should be suitable for operation on 220-230 volts,
single phase, 50 Hz, AC Supply.
Lamp on Stand
Fluorescent lamp with 20 to 40 watt fluorescent tube, suitable
reflector and 60 cm arm mounted on perfectly balanced bronze backed
enamel finished flexible stand with heavy base with provision for
setting at desired height and angle of focusing. .
5. Plastic Tray or
cm x 50 cm x 5 cm .
6. Petri dishes
dishes made of pyrex glass/plastic or size 10 cm diameter and 1.25cm
depth with cover fits loosely to provide proper ventilation. .
7. Plastic Bucket
Plastic bucket made of heavy gauge plastic with cover, capacity 10ltrs
Highly nickel plated forceps of size 14 cm long and pointed end.
9. Counting Board
Counting Board made of wooden/plastic of size 40 cm x 25 cm with double
layer, of plastic/mica board with 50/100 openings.The lower layer should
have provision for sliding back and forward to achieve closing and
opening of holes. The holes should be equally spaced and of same size
for proper counting and perfect placement.
10. Germination paper
Sunlit Brand filter paper in circles, rectangular/squares
11. Towel paper
Germination paper(Towel paper) of size 45 cm x 28 cm, highly absorbent
and non-toxic to germinating seed. The paper should be of good bursting
strength and free from toxic chemicals.
12. Germination Sand
Silica/river sand having graded sand particle of size ranging between
0.05mm to 0.8mm.
13. Waxed Paper
paper sheet of size 50.5 cm x 36.5 cm
14. Maximum-Minimum Thermometer
'Zeal'/Bakman make. Maximum-minimum thermometer showing maximum and
minimum temperature at any period of time within range of temperature
-4°C to 5°C with 1°C division. Small metal indices on top of column on
each side should indicate the maximum and minimum temperature. equipment
should be provided with removable shelter top.
15. Germination Trolley
Movable closed steel trolley of size 90 cm x 35 cm and 175 cm x 40 mm x
1.25 mm angle iron frame having four equal compartments. The
compartments should be closed with aluminum sheet from three sides and
having glass widow in aluminum frame in front side. The trolley should
have handle on 35 mm side at suitable height for its easy transportation
and should be mounted on 4 nos. caster wheels.
16. Analysis Table
table of size 1.40 m x 2.00 m x 0.75 m with sunmica top having shelves
in the sides.
17. Analysis Chairs
Revolving steels chairs, with height adjustment.
18. Seed Scarifier
Laboratory model scarifier with maximum capacity of scarifying 1000 seed
at a time.
Single chamber, automatic,with/without
lighting arrangement. The inside chamber should be made up of anodized
stainless/stainless steel and outside M.S. sheet stove enamel painted.
The water reservoir should be of stainless steel. The equipment should
be mounted on heavy duty castor wheels .Dimension of working chamber 910
x 555 x 605 mm or similar. The equipment should be provided with cooling
and heating arrangement for maintaining 5 to 50°C temperature provided
with circulating fans, automatic temperature control device, . accurate
thermostats and inner glass door. Humidity approx. 90-95 percent
complete in all respect.
Temperature 20°C and 30°C with high relative humidity.
21. Hot Air Oven
Hot air oven (sand sterilizer) of overall size of 635 mm x 76 mm x 495
with temperature range of ambient to 30°C without timer.
Hot air double walled (inside made of thick anodized aluminum and
outside of mild steel sheet) finished in oven baked white or cream
enamel with inner chamber of size 420 mm x 420 mm x 360 mm. The gap
between two walls be filled with suitable insulating material. Door
should have double viewing window to permit observation during
operation without disturbing thermal condition. Heating of inner chamber
by means of suitable heating elements placed in ribs at the bottom and
sides. The oven should be supplied with accurate thermostat suitable for
maintaining temperature of inner chamber ranging from ambient to 70°C
with sensitivity of + 0.50C and automatic timer in hours/in minutes.
Complete with all standard features including built in thermometer of
range 0 to 70°C, two pilot lamps and 3 perforated shelves out of which 2
adjustable to any height and suitable for operation on 220-230 volts,
50 Hz AC supply.
Waste Paper Trolley (Movable)
Trolley of 60 x 45 x 60 cm size made of 1.00 mm thick sheet on a frame
of angle iron of size 40 x 40 x 1.25 mm with round handle at the top
throughout the width. Trolley should be mounted on four caster wheels.
24. Movable Open
Movable open trolley of size 90 x 45 x 90 cm having 4 adjustable
compartments of equal sizes made of 0.80 (22 gauge) M.S. sheet and
40x40x1.25 mm size angle iron frame. The trolley should be mounted on 4
nos. castor wheels.
basic facilities are required to undertake seed health testing work.
A. BASIC EQUIPMENTS
Microscopes form the basic need for Seed Health Testing. For conducting
dry inspection and the examination of colony characters a good
stereoscopic binocular microscope with magnification up to 60x and
fitted with two side lamps is very imperative.
the examination of various microorganisms good binocular compound
microscopes are needed.
2. Incubation Chambers
Incubation is needed for the growth of desired microorganisms under
controlled light, temperature conditions. It is required for growth of
seedling and development of disease symptoms. Incubation is also needed
for the growth of indicator plants and incubation by pathogens harbored
within the seed being tested.
incubation chamber are fitted with NUV lamps (Near Ultra Violet Lamps),
40 cm from the shelf on which the dishes are placed. As per the
International Standards TL 40W/08 lamps should be utilized. However, in
the NUV Lamps are
not available, cool day light fluorescent tubes (e.g. 40 W /34 . Deluxe)
could be used.
Although the seeds
can be incubated in any sort of transparent containers glass/plastic
petri dished are more effective and generally used for Seed Health
a) Blotter Sterile and white blotters are mostly used in Rs. H.T for
specific tests and pathogens
b) Agar-agar media
PDA and Malt
extract agar are very suitable as standard media.
5. Deep freezer and Refrigerator
Refrigerators are needed for the preservation of the culture material
and the deep freezer for inflicting shock to the seeds so that their
germination is delayed/or the embryo killed, so that the growing
plumules of one seed does not overlap the adjacent seed making the
counting difficult and faulty.
6. Glass house.
This is needed to develop the organisms under controlled environmental
conditions. This facility is particularly useful for quarantine
7. Laminar Flow
Required for inoculation/platingisubculling under sterilization
In order to accomplish the Seed Health Testing, the following items
as given below are very essential.
1. Glass slides
2. Culture tubes
4. Teasing needle
5. Cover slips
8. Marking pencils
For more sophisticated work, a haemocytometer would
be needed for Spore Count. Since, all the tests for seed health are
carried under sterile conditions, an autoclave would also be needed.
EQUIPMENTS AND SUPPLIES
1. Wooden Table
Wooden table made
of teak wood of size 0.91x1.52xO.75 mtrs.
2. Electronic Calculator
Electronic desk calculator for simple mathematical functions
3. Steel File Cabinet
Steel file cabinet made of 1 mm 20 gauge) M.S. sheet metal with suitable
drawers to accommodate 3000 analysis cards of size 18 x 14 cm
4. Steel Almirah
almirah of 86 x 45 cm and overall height 180 cm including 11 cm leg;
made of 1.00 mm (20 gauge) M.S. steel metal with five compartments for
keeping the files etc.
5. GI Sheet Box
or Seed Sample Storage System
sheet box of 50 x 40 x 22 cm size divided into 3 compartments; two
compartments; two compartments of size 50 x 12 x 22 cm and one of size
50 x 15 x 22 cm; made from 1.25 mm (18 gauge). Thick G.I. sheet suitable
for storage of seed samples of horticultural and vegetable seeds. The
box shall be covered with hinged rubber gasketed lids.
6. Chemicals, such as 2,3,15 -triphenyl tetrazolium chlorode, Potassium
sitrate, Thiourea, Gibberellic acid, silica gel with indicator,
sulphuric acid, etc. B.D.H or reputed brand name.
7. Glassware such
as measuring cylinder, desiccator,
funnel, beakers, etc. Corning Make.
8. Rubber bands, glass marking pencils, washed bottles, scapel with
9. A glass house or growth chamber is needed for canying out grow out
test for . bacteria and viruses under controlled conditions.
10. Autoclave for preparing media and sterilization of petridishes etc.
11. Laminar flow for inoculating the pathogens .
12. Sieves of 3.0, 2.5, 1.0 mm size fro separating the embryos.
13. Humidifier for maintaining 90-95% Relative humidity in Walk-in-Germiantor
14. Dehumidifier for seed sample storage room.
15. Air-conditioner 1.5 ton capacity provided with precision thermostat.