Cocoa pods, Venezuela. Photo: C.Lanaud ©CIRAD
Arabica coffee, Ethiopia. Photo: ©Jean-Pierre Labouisse
Yams in Benin. Photo: J-L Pham ©IRD
Rice harvest, Guinea. Photo: J-L Pham ©IRD
Maize corn. Photo: ©Brigitte Gouesnard

Seed characterization and quality

This platform will serve to analyze the quality, morphometric characteristics and viability of seeds. It will be equipped with innovative equipment to enable high-throughput analysis with the highest possible level of automation, such as: automate for germination monitoring by image analysis (physical characteristics of seed, germination rate), NIRS analyzer, analyzer by image analysis (seed morphometry) and automated system for seed deposition. It will allow characterizing a huge diversity of various seeds, which is unique in France. It will complement the seed phenotyping platform of SNES Angers, in charge of regulatory tests on agronomic species.

Automate for germination monitoring by image analysis

This tool combines a thermostatic germination bench (similar to a Jacobsen table), a robotic device for digital imaging and a tool for automated image analysis for the seed by characterization of germination, germination speed and the strength of the seedlings. Beyond the mean values, this system provides access to the variance of the analyzed sample. The data obtained are reliable, repeatable and free from variation elements resulting from operator subjectivity. This tool also allows a significant reduction of manual measurement and counting.

Near infrared analyzer

The Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) is a fast, simple and reliable technique to estimate the chemical composition of dry seeds. This equipment allows to analyze the quality of seed batches stored in the ARCAD platform and to spread the use of these techniques to some wild species or wild crop relatives. The major benefit of this tool and of the results that will be generated lie in the wide range of diversity represented by the preserved genetic resources and the ability to generalize the results obtained.

Morphometric analyzer by image analysis

This equipment combines a digital high definition image capture, a digital weighing system and an analysis software programme to describe the morpho-metric data seed by seed, calculate the mean and variance of the analyzed sample and the weight of 1,000 grains. This system also gives access to qualitative characteristics of seed batches, such as the rate of starchy kernels in wheat or the percentage of pearled or chalky grains in rice. This technics works now on a larger diversity base held in the BRCs (landraces, old cultivars) and to more diversified species (small-seeded forage species, wild related species, etc.) The ability for image archival and deferred processing also makes it possible to compare over time batches of the same product accession on different premises or at separate dates and to correct inaccurate or incomplete data, once the qualitative characteristics of the batches are known.

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