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National Seed Laboratory
5675 Riggins Mill Rd
Dry Branch, GA 31020

(478) 751-3551

 United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Training & Technology Transfer

Seed Collection Workshop: If you have these questions or similar ones, this workshop is for you.

lots of seed varietiesWhen should I collect seeds?
What do I collect?
How should I gather the seeds?
How do I know if I collected viable seeds?
How many seeds should I collect?
Where should I collect my seeds?
How many sites should I collect from?

Workshop content: What quantity of seeds to collect is determined by the magnitude of the regeneration project and survival estimates for the seeds. Unfortunately many seeds never produce a plant. Seeds need to be collected at physiological maturity. To estimate when this occurs, it is necessary to study embryo types and the seed maturation process. Embryo type and fruit structure are also very important in estimating the quality of the seed that is collected. Fruit structure will determine what plant part is collected, how seeds are obtained from it, and how seeds and fruits are handled as they are conditioned for storage or sowing. Genetic variation is always the backdrop on which seed collections are planned so this topic must also be addressed in the discussion of seed collection.

Seed Conditioning Workshop: If you have these questions or
similar ones, this workshop is for you.

How must seeds be handled between collection and storage or sowing? How do I get the seeds out of dry fruits and fleshy fruits?Are there tools or machines to do what needstobe done?
What seed cleaning might I try, what should be done somewhere else?
How should I store seeds for maintaining high viability?
Is there anyway to quickly clean these seeds?
showing inside brush machine

Workshop content: Storage conditions for seeds and fruits are determined by the fruit type, ability of the seed to dry or not dry, and the degree of dormancy. Fruit type and the strength of the seed coats determine what tools or machinery can be used to clean seeds. How quickly seeds must be used or put into controlled storage determines work schedules. There are techniques for cleaning Brush Machineseeds that will generally produce clean, pure seeds of high viability. This is true for herbaceous and woody native plants. High quality seeds greatly increase the chance of successful regeneration over that of using rough unconditioned seeds. Ideal storage conditions for preserving seed viability will be discussed.

Introductory Seed Testing Workshop:If you have these questions or similar ones, this workshop is for you.

How do I know I am purchasing live seeds?
seed workshop meetingHow do I estimate how many plants will come from a given weight of seeds?
How do I compare the relative value between two seed lots?
How can I estimate the quality of seeds before and during seed collection?
How do I know it is o.k. to freeze my seeds?
How good a job did I do cleaning my seeds?

Workshop content: Seed testing is the guiding light for the management of all types of seeds. Seed tests are needed at all stages of seed use starting at evaluating potential seed harvests through storage and sowing into the ground. Tests provide accurate estimates of the potential number of plants from a given quantity of seeds, aid in determining the relative dollar value of seed lots, and are critical in maintaining high viability in stored seeds. Topics included in this workshop are seed lot sampling, germination (including some dormancy breaking procedures), purity, seed weight, moisture content, and variability among seed tests.

Advanced Seed Topics:These training opportunities are for those needing more in depth seed technology training or are involved in larger
seed production projects.

Rapid Estimates of Seed Viability Workshop:If you have these questions or simisimilar ones, this workshop is for you.

Excised Embryo
Excised Embryo
How can I know the viability of a seed lot within a day or two?
How can I estimate seed viability immediately?
What if no one knows how to germinate the kind of seed I work with?

Workshop content: Tetrazolium chloride staining of seeds to estimate viability (TZ test), excised embryo testing, and x-ray analysis estimate viability independent of dormancy factors in the vast majority of genera. These tests
are, thereseed x-rayfore, very useful with wild plants that frequently contain dormancy barriers to seed germination. Participants will prepare testing solutions, learn to prepare seeds, and begin to learn to interpret the results. Tz tests are made by cutting open the seed and staining it with a solution of tetrazolium chloride.
The excised embryo test is made by excising the embryo from the seed and germinating it under controlled conditions. Control of infection is very important with this test. X-ray analysis requires the use of an x-ray machine. It provides a rapid inside look at the seed structures which is important to assess viability.

Resident Training at the FS National Seed Laboratory
Persons needing extended experience in seed analysis are welcome to visit the seed lab and work with the laboratory staff. Visits can last from one to multiple weeks depending on the visitor’s needs and availability of laboratory

On site Training
On site evaluation and training is available upon request. Training specific to your operation can be provided. We will train your staff, on your equipment, and with your seeds so that you can realize the seed quality you need for
successful seed collections and regeneration activities.

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