Seed Treatment and Seed Dormancy

Seed treatment is the treatment applied to seeds prior to sowing for rapidly completion of germination. Germination is prolonged or delayed unless the dormancy is removed. Seed dormancy is important factor limiting the production. It is the lack of germination in seeds or tubers under environmental conditions that are usually favorable for germination like the water, light, temperature and so on.
Based on the cause of seed dormancy, they are classified as physical seed dormancy (impermeable seed coat), chemical seed dormancy (prevent seed growth by the chemical in the seed coat) and mechanical seed dormancy (prevent expansion of seed growth even when permeable to water).
Seed Treatment and Seed Dormancy -- Seed treatment
Seed treatment

Seed germination depends on internal and external condition. Both the condition should favor for the well germination of the seed. When a single condition fulfill alone may not give proper germination. Thus, both the condition should match to give gemination to new plant.

Types of Seed Dormancy

  • In physical dormancy the seed coat is impermeable to water. 
  • In chemical dormancy the inhibitors in the seed coat prevent germination. 
  • Likewise, in mechanical dormancy the seed coat is permeable to water but is so tough that the expansion of the embryo is prevented.

The embryo not being fully developed at the time of seed fall also causes dormancy which needs a period of after- ripening before it become able to germinate on its own.

It is required to overcome the dormancy period so that seed can germinate may be by different means.

Methods of seed treatments

There are various methods with which the seeds can be treated that accelerates the germination process like:

  • Treatment through the use of water by soaking in cold water for one to two days before sowing, soaking in boiling water, alternate wetting and drying, Hot water scarification.
  • Passing through the animal body- Seeds of Acacia arabica, Santalum album can germinate quickly if they are passed through the body of animals and birds.
  • Mechanical treatment by cutting the hard seed coats of the seeds so that moisture may reach the inside of it.
  • Chemical treatment through limewater, dilute acids and alkali.
  • Scorching and fire treatment can be done by spreading seeds on the ground and giving a light burn with a layer of leaves spread.
  • Exposing the seeds to sun, wind and rain to crack its hard coat like of teak.
  • Fermentation and stratification- Seeds are spread on the ground covered with grass which is kept moist and fermentation is induced by adding inoculations from cattle sheds.


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