Germination rate and germination capacity


In agriculture and gardening, the germination rate describes how many seeds of a particular plant species, variety or seedlot are likely to germinate over a given period. It is a measure of germination time course and is usually expressed as a percentage, e.g., an 85% germination rate indicates that about 85 out of 100 seeds will probably germinate under proper conditions over the germination period given. Seed germination rate is determined by the seed genetic composition, morphological features and environmental factors. The germination rate is useful for calculating the number of seeds needed for a given area or desired number of plants. For seed physiologists and seed scientists "germination rate" is the reciprocal of time taken for the process of germination to complete starting from time of sowing. On the other hand, the number of seed able to complete germination in a population (i.e. seed lot) is referred as germination capacity.

Seed quality deteriorates with age, and this is associated with accumulation of genome damage.During germination, repair processes are activated to deal with accumulated DNA damage.In particular, single- and double-strand breaks in DNA can be repaired.The DNA damage checkpoint kinase ATM has a major role in integrating progression through germination with repair responses to the DNA damages accumulated by the aged seed.


Joseph Mareddy

Assistant Managing Editor

Journal of Plant Biochemistry and physiology