Oregon State University

Research and Innovations



Our mission is to generate and implement research that will improve performance, ergonomics, efficiency, and equipment within the seed industry. These improvements will facilitate solving seed testing constraints, the reduction of costs, and development or adoption of new technologies and/or tests depending on specific seed industry needs.

Most of seed testing methods used today were developed more than half a century ago. In the modern industry, there has been an increasing trend in the globalization of the seed industry that has led to intensified competition among seed producers. As a result, there is a growing need to achieve higher levels of efficiency and precision by improving seed testing techniques, developing new tests and equipment and reducing testing costs

Customer-driven research projects for seed companies, research and extension educators

The Oregon State University Seed Laboratory has the capacity to carry out various research studies related to seed quality and help its customers answer questions in a variety of areas. Following are some examples of our research studies that were completed:

  •  Determine the effects of biochar-based seed coating on seed germination and seedling vigor of some grass seeds.
  •  Develop protocols to distinguish subspecies of fine fescues and other plant species with different chromosome numbers using the flow cytometer. 
  •  Develop ploidy test to differentiate among festulolium, tall fescue and ryegrass.
  •  Develop a “Ploidy by Cytometry” test to separate different Glyceria species.
  •  Improving the Ergo-Vision purity inspection system. 


The analyst sits in an ergonomically correct position and uses both eyes at optimum magnification,
the seeds flow continuously and the process can be started and stopped any time to remove contaminants.


Flow cytometer measures the nuclear DNA content
in the living cells of plant tissues.


  • Develop a new blowing procedure using master calibration samples and air velocity monitoring: a model developed with orchardgrass and Kentucky bluegrass



OSU Seed Lab developed a new blowing procedure
using master calibration samples and air velocity monitoring.

  •   Develop a test to quantify pre-harvest sprouting seeds in winter white wheat seed lots.
  •   Investigate the correlations between the tetrazolium test and the germination test results in determining seed viability of different grass species.




A study was conducted to answer the question whether TZ test can be
used as an alternative viability test to the standard germination test.

  •  Upgrade seed quality of ryegrass using blowing procedure.
  •  Studies on the multiple seed units in ryegrass to gain efficiencies and consistency in purity testing.
  •  Develop the first laboratory test to detect Orobanche seeds in red clover.


OSU Seed Lab developed a test to detect Orobanche seeds in red clover.

  •  Develop a grow-out test to differentiate among various amaranthus species. 


Leaf morphology differences among 7 species of pigweed (Amaranthus spp.).


  • Studies to end the fluorescence test of annual ryegrass as soon as the germination reaches maximum potential.
  • Studies on the feasibility of eliminating the factoring procedure of orchard grass and fine fescues.
  • Develop a “Grow-out” test to differentiate Italian ryegrass from annual and perennial types. 


OSU Seed Lab developed a “grow-out” test to differentiate
Italian ryegrass from annual and perennial types.


  • Determine the range of germination temperatures for various crops using the thermogradient table, and screen varieties for cold and heat tolerance for cover crops, natives, and other crops.


Thermogradient Table


  • Studies on the occurrence and trends of weed seed and ergot contaminants in fine fescues, bentgrass, and Kentucky bluegrass seed lots in Oregon.
  • Storability studies on the effect of storage condition on fine fescues. 
  • Effect of physiological and harvest maturity on seed quality of red clover in relation to plant growth hormones.
  • Changes in seed chemical composition, fatty acid profile and glucosinolate contents in relation to physiological and harvest maturity in meadowfoam.
  • Assess oil and protein contents for many oils seed crops and meals using the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).

NMR used to determine the oil and protein contents in various seed oil crops.

Contact Info

The OSU Seed Laboratory is an AOSA and ISTA member lab and is ISTA Accredited Laboratory US07.

3291 SW Campus Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: 541-737-4464
Fax: 541-737-2126

Hours: 8-5 Mon - Fri
Copyright ©  2017 Oregon State University