What is Seed and Seed classes

Introduction to different classes of Seed

A seed is the planting material used for propagation purposes. It is the basic input used in agriculture. Seed is also known as the fertilized ovule obtained after pollination and fertilization of flowering plants. Seed after germination gives rises to a healthy plant. Any vegetative materials like bulbs, cuttings, any kind of grafts, corms, stolon, rhizome, setts and tubers are also called as seed.

In this article, we will let you know about what is a seed, classification of seeds with an example, steps for final certified seed production, what is nucleus seed, what is foundation seed, what is breeder seed, what is a certified seed, different classes of seed, types of seeds, what is seed multiplication process, what is truthfully labelled seed, classes of seed, what are the two main types of seeds, Which seed is known as Mother seed. Let us check out the content.


Classes of seeds/ Seed classes:

There are four major different classes of seeds in India namely nucleus seed, breeder seed, foundation seed, and certified seed. The different classes of seeds are necessary for the multiplication of quality seed under the vigilant supervision of plant breeder or seed certification agency to distribute seed of notified varieties for sowing purposes to farmers.

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Nucleus seed:

             The process of development of certified seed for distribution to the farmer of a distant variety is called nucleus seed. This is the cent percent pure seed at genetic and physical levels produced by the plant breeder who evolved the variety without any impurity. The seed is produced strictly under isolation and maintained by the institute that developed the variety.

The seed is made available to different agencies on demand to start seed multiplication chain in the university where breeder seed is produced year after year. This type of seed is not certified by any certification agency. Vigour and viability of the original variety has to be retained in the nucleus seed. Usually, the pedigree certificate is issued by the concerned breeder after the production of nucleus seed.

Breeder seed:

            Breeder seed is the progeny of the nucleus seed which is generally multiplied in a larger area of the field under the supervision of plant breeder and monitored by the breeder seed monitoring committee. It provides cent percent genetic and physical purity for the production of the foundation seeds. The golden yellow tag is issued for this category by the producing agency. The monitoring committee consists of representatives of state seed certification agencies, national or state seed corporations, ICAR nominee and the concerned breeder.

The breeder stage seed is the first stage seed in the generation system of multiplication. The breeder seed provides the source of first seed, and the subsequent increase in the production of foundation seeds.

            The size of the breeder seed tag is 12X6 cm. One tag is generally issued for each and every bag of seeds. The label contains the information like label number, crop, variety, class of seed, lot number, date of test, pure seed percent, inert matter percent, germination percent and producing institution. Each and every year, the breeder seed price must be decided by the central government uniformly throughout the country. This type of breeder seed is not generally certified by any certification agency.

Foundation seed:

Foundation seed is the progeny of the breeder seed which is handled by the recognized seed producing agencies in public and private sectors under the supervision of Seed Certification Agency in such a way that its quality is maintained according to the prescribed seed standards. Usually, seed certification agencies issue a white colour tag for foundation seed class. The size of the foundation seed label is 15X7.5 cm. Foundation seed is produced at the State Farm Corporation of India, National Seed Corporation and State seed Corporation under the technical and proper control of qualified plant breeders approved by the Government of India.

Foundation seeds from the interested seed growers. The genetic purity of foundation seed is 99.5 percent. This foundation seeds become the source of all other certified seed classes, either directly or through registered seed producing agencies and hence it is also known as mother seed. 

  1. Foundation seed stage I: The foundation seed produced from Breeder seed.
  2. Foundation seed stage II: The foundation seed produced from foundation seed-stage I. It is used for the production of certified category of seed.

Certified seed:

            Certified seed is the progeny of foundation seed which is either produced by the registered and certified seed growers under the supervision of Seed Certification Agency by maintaining the quality of certified seed as per the Indian Seed Certification Standards. Usually, seed certification agencies issue azure blue tag for certified seed class. The size of the certified seed tag is 15*7.5 cm. Genetic purity shows that the seed is of the variety under certification and that there are no admixtures from other varieties or any other crops. The genetic purity of certified seed is very high with the amount of contamination permitted ranges from 0 – 0.1 percent. A high percentage of germination is necessary from the certified seeds to obtain a good crop stand with the minimum amount of seed. 

  1. Certified seed stage I: certified seed produced from Breeder seed I or breeder seed II
  • Certified seed stage II: certified seed produced from certified seed stage I. It is generally permitted when the reproduction does not exceed three generations excluding breeder seed.

In addition, there is another class of seed produced i.e., truthfully labelled seeds.

Truthfully labelled seeds:

            The seed is sold based on the result of laboratory established by the producer is called as truthfully labelled seeds. This can be produced and sold by private agencies. In government sectors, many times seed is not able to fulfil seed certification standard for any one parameter. The colour of truthfully labelled seed tag is an opal green.

This seed may be sold by making corrections after getting certification by the authorized seed certification agency. The price of the truthfully labelled seed is always lower than the certified seed in government sector. Seed rejected due to genetic impurity or presence of the objectionable disease is not labelled as truthful.

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Conclusion of seed classification

Seeds are the method of pollination and reproduction for flowering plants which include everything from trees to grasses to bushes. Each seed is capable of growing into a new plant, given the right environmental and climatic conditions, and the vast majority of plants have seeds. The choice of a proper seed multiplication model is the key to the further success of a seed program for efficient and maximum multiplication of seeds.