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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #357181

Research Project: Optimizing Water Use Efficiency for Environmentally Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems in Semi-Arid Regions

Location: Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research

Title: Analysis of grain size distribution through image analysis

item Gitz, Dennis
item Baker, Jeffrey
item Payton, Paxton
item Xin, Zhanguo
item Lascano, Robert

Submitted to: American Journal of Plant Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/29/2018
Publication Date: 11/2/2018
Citation: Gitz, D.C., Baker, J.T., Payton, P.R., Xin, Z., Lascano, R.J. 2018. Analysis of grain size distribution through image analysis. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 9:2339-2346.

Interpretive Summary: The size and the uniformity of seed size is an important attribute that affects the crop value and productivity. Uniform seed size leads to easier harvesting, cleaning, and processing. It has long been thought that increasing seed numbers in plants would be a developmental trait that would increase crop yield. Molecular biologists and breeders seldom look closely at seed size and usually characterize seeds with qualitative terms such as small or large, or simply weigh a hundred seeds and measure the average weight. Here ARS scientists from Lubbock, Texas describe a method to quantitatively measure the uniformity of seed size resulting from differences in development. We also show that this approach is capable of very clearly revealing differences in grain development in two types of sorghum. This approach can be used to select for uniformity of seed size in germplasm improvement, to examine efficiency of seed cleaning operations, and once automated could be extended to placing premiums on crops at the grain elevator.

Technical Abstract: Herein we describe an approach to measure the volume and to characterize the volume distribution of large numbers of individual small regularly shaped seeds. The results of a preliminary investigation into the seed size distribution of a mulitseeded sorghum mutant as compared to the wild type from which it was developed is also reported, and is used as an example of the method’s utility.