Conditioning Monarda bradburiana

The first step in this germination study was seed conditioning. Seed conditioning refers to all treatments required to produce clean, quality seed. Monarda bradburiana seed were collected from Dr. Denny Schrock's private garden and brought to the ISU Seed Science Center for conditioning. The seed itself is very small--about 1mm in length. This meant that bulk conditioning equipment would not be usable for the small batch. The conditioning process used proceeded as follows.

  M. bradburiana  seed prior to shaking the sieve. some debris visible.

M. bradburiana seed prior to shaking the sieve. some debris visible.

Metal sieves used to separate large debris from M. bradburiana seed.

 South Dakota Seed Blower residue (seen here) collects lighter weight particles in angled shelves at the top of the acrylic blower tube. In this case, it has collected light-weight debris and potentially damaged light-weight seed.

South Dakota Seed Blower residue (seen here) collects lighter weight particles in angled shelves at the top of the acrylic blower tube. In this case, it has collected light-weight debris and potentially damaged light-weight seed.

 Makeshift vibratory deck separator (design by Alan Gaul). Easily-rolling objects, such as round seed, collect down into the lower blue tray while remaining objects vibrate upwards over the plate.

Makeshift vibratory deck separator (design by Alan Gaul). Easily-rolling objects, such as round seed, collect down into the lower blue tray while remaining objects vibrate upwards over the plate.

 Magnifying glass station used for hand-sorting and seed counting.

Magnifying glass station used for hand-sorting and seed counting.

 Deatiled view of  M. bradburiana  seed on magnifying glass station.

Deatiled view of M. bradburiana seed on magnifying glass station.

Conditioning Process

  1. Sifting through metal sieve separates larger debris from seed. Most effective was 0.838 cylinder.
  2. Vibratory deck separator separates rolling seed from non-rolling debris.
  3. South Dakota Seed Blower isolates light-weight seed and debris. This seed has presumably not filled-in properly and is unlikely to have fully developed embryos.
  4. Hand sorting using magnifying glass station and tweezers.

Many thanks to Usha Arora and Alan Gaul for their assistance in this process.