Seed colour is important in some grain crops. Haricot beans, for example, have a wide variety of colours and local preferences can be strong. Seed colour is also important in some cereals, such as maize, and in some pseudo-cereals, such as amaranth. Some seed colours can be used as marker genes in a breeding program. Seed counting
Seed counting is important when determining the 'hundred seed weight' or the 'thousand seed weight' to ensure that high yields of grain crops are due to many large seeds, rather then to very many small seeds. The manufacturers of seed testing equipment have various designs of equipment for counting and weighing seeds. Seed disinfection
Infected seed (i.e., seed carrying an internal pathogen) can be disinfected. The most usual method is a hot water treatment. From the point of view of amateur plant breeding, seed disinfection should be avoided because the disease reveals and eliminates susceptible individuals. Seed dormancy
Many plants produce dormant seeds, and these have various survival advantages. In annuals, dormant seeds will ensure long-term survival if some ecological disaster, such as a major drought, has entirely destroyed the current population. In perennials, dormant seeds often germinate during an exceptionally favourable situation, such as after a forest fire.
Seed dormancy can occasionally be a nuisance in plant breeding and the dormancy must be broken. There are various techniques for doing this, such as hot water treatment, or physical damage to the seed coat with abrasives or acid. Seed dressing
A pesticide that is applied to the external surface of seeds. Seed industries
In many crop species , there are farmers specialised in seed production. In addition, there are specialised seed merchants, and there is often legislative control backed by seed inspectors and seed testing laboratories. These various groups are known collectively as the seed industry for that crop. It is noteworthy that the importance of a seed industry is directly proportional to the pest and disease susceptibility of that crop. For example, the need for certified seed potatoes is absolute, while the need for certified seed setts of sugarcane is negligible.
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