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Development of imaging analysis procedures to evaluate physical, chemical and physiological properties of seeds and seedlings

Grant number: 18/13139-0
Support type:Research Grants - eScience and Data Science Program - Regular Program Grants
Duration: February 01, 2019 - January 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Crop Science
Principal Investigator:Francisco Guilhien Gomes Junior
Grantee:Francisco Guilhien Gomes Junior
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Agide Gimenez Marassi ; Alberto Tannús ; Carlos Alberto Pérez ; Fernando Fernandes Paiva ; Hudson Wallace Pereira de Carvalho ; Julio Marcos Filho ; Silvio Moure Cicero
Associated scholarship(s):19/16107-5 - Software development to evaluate the vigor of corn, wheat, rice, melon, carrot and onion seeds, based on seedling growth, BP.TT
19/17967-8 - Soybean seed treatment with zinc: absorption and distribution during germination and seedling development evaluated by X-ray spectroscopy and relation with plant performance, BP.MS


Computer vision and non-destructive procedures are highly desirable for the evaluation of physical, chemical and metabolic characteristics of seeds and seedlings. In addition to providing speed and accuracy in obtaining results, evaluations can be performed on individual seeds and/or seedlings, which increases the efficiency to select higher physiological potential seeds. Among the techniques that need research attention and have great adoption by agencies linked to the seed production it must be emphasized: (i) the development of software to evaluate seed vigor and (ii) the improvement of non-invasive techniques capable of producing internal images of seeds and seedlings related to physical, chemical and metabolic characteristics to diagnose problems associated with loss of seed physiological potential. One of the most efficient methods for seed vigor evaluating is to determine the speed and uniformity of seedling growth, since it is directly related to the transformation capacity and supply of reserves of the storage tissues to embryonic axis. Seed vigor may also influence the efficiency of micronutrient utilization applied through seed treatment and the evaluation of the dynamics of absorption and assimilation of these elements by seeds and seedlings using non-destructive techniques are fundamental to understand the behavior of seed lots of high and low vigor. The proposals of this project are: (i) to develop specific software for vigor evaluation of corn, wheat, rice, melon, carrot and onion seeds, based on digitized seedling images, and (ii) to evaluate micronutrient uptake metabolism in soybean seeds and seedlings with different vigor levels by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray absorption (XAS) spectroscopy. In parallel, exploratory experiments will be carried out to optimize specific magnetic resonance protocols for in vivo evaluation of carbohydrate metabolism in soybean seedlings with different vigor levels. The knowledge generated in the project may increase the efficiency of the physiological potential evaluation of commercialized seeds, maximizing the economic return. (AU)