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viable seeds

Seed Viability and Vigour

  • J. W. Bradbeer

Abstract

A viable seed is one which is capable of germination under suitable conditions. The definition includes dormant but viable seeds, in which case the dormancy must be broken before viability can be measured by germination. A non-viable seed, therefore, is one which fails to germinate even under optimal conditions, including treatments for the removal of dormancy. The practical definition of viability depends upon the context in which it is used; for example, to the ecologist, viability implies the ability of the seed to germinate and the ability of the seedling to establish itself in the environment in which the seed finds itself. However, when seeds are utilized, to produce a crop, for example, then viability is a measure of the suitability of the seed batch to produce a satisfactory crop.

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A viable seed is one which is capable of germination under suitable conditions. The definition includes dormant but viable seeds, in which case the dormancy must be broken before viability can be…