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.
- Sifting through metal sieve separates larger debris from seed. Most effective was 0.838 cylinder.
- Vibratory deck separator separates rolling seed from non-rolling debris.
- 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.
- Hand sorting using magnifying glass station and tweezers.
Many thanks to Usha Arora and Alan Gaul for their assistance in this process.