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Rapid Staining Tetrazolium Test

Full germination tests take a number of days to conduct.

Therefore a quick test that gives a reliable indication of germination levels is required.

The rapid stain tetrazolium test aims to determine the percentage of a sample that has the potential to germinate under optimum conditions.

Tetrazolium is a colourless chemical that reacts with hydrogen in living cells to produce a red colour meaning living tissue can be distinguished from non-living tissue. It only detects tissues that are alive or viable.

A tetrazolium test will not take into account other factors that affect germination i.e. chemical damage, dormancy, disease.

  • Cut 50 corns length ways
  • Discard one half and place the other half in the slide
  • Cover with tetrazolium solution
  • Incubate at 40⁰C for 10 minutes and drain
  • Count the number of corns with a live embryo and are stained pink
  • Multiply the number of live corns by two to get the percentage

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