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Laser technology sorting method can improve seed quality

The high cost of vegetable crop seeds--hybrids in particular--has led growers to seek out new precision seeding and transplant production systems. The quality of vegetable seed lots can be affected by a variety of pre-storage and post-storage factors, so finding ways to improve seedling emergence percentages and uniformity is critically important for producers. A new study from scientists in Turkey and The Netherlands (HortScience, August 2013) showed that chlorophyll fluorescence (CF) can be used successfully to improve quality in Capsicum pepper seed lots.

The research team set out to find a way to separate out less mature seeds in order to enhance the overall quality of pepper seed lots using a method called chlorophyll fluorescence, which has been used successfully to detect and sort other types of seeds. The nondestructive technique uses laser technology, narrow optical bandwidth filters, and detection of chlorophyll in the seed coat to measure the resulting chlorophyll fluorescence (CF) and link it with the quality of the seeds. Chlorophyll fluorescence has been found to be effective for sorting cabbage, tomato, barley, carrot, and pepper seeds.

"While previous studies evaluated seed quality solely based on laboratory germination tests conducted under optimum germination conditions, our work tested the effect of CF sorting not only on laboratory germination, but also on emergence and physiological aging as indicators of seed vigor," said corresponding author Burcu Beg├╝m Kenanoglu. "The results showed that CF sorting affects germination and seed vigor." 

Source: sciencecodex.com

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