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California Crop Improvement Association
University of California
California Crop Improvement Association

Seed Laboratory

Section 23. Seed Laboratory

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The CCIA may require a seed testing laboratory to perform quality assurance audits of seed samples requested from Accredited seed conditioners and seed testing laboratories.  These audit tests may be  performed on reference samples in order to verify the accuracy of the seed test submitted for certification. The lab may also provide additional testing services or service testing for verification of compliance with certification standards, referee samples, training and education for seed labs.

The CCIA will recognize Reports of Analysis from laboratories that agree to the following:

  • Seed laboratories conducting purity and germination reports must have a Registered Seed Technologist and follow AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds.
  • When visually distinguishable, seed laboratories must report off-type seed within the on the Report of Analysis.
  • All Seed Laboratories who issue Reports of Analysis for seed samples in the seed certification program will still be subject to periodic auditing by CCIA personnel as deemed necessary.
  • Conduct additional testing on those crops that require special tests. Special tests include:
    • Dodder test in alfalfa, berseem clover, red clover, and white clover. To detect the presence of dodder, a 400 gram sample must be run over a velvet roller dodder mill (or similar dodder detection equipment).  450 grams is required for red clover.
    • Red Rice Rubout. A 500 gram sample of rice is hulled using a rice huller and the grains are inspected for the presence of red rice.
    • Rice Blast. All certified rice seed lots (minimum 30 gram sample) must be tested for rice blast (Magnaporthe oryzae).  Both PCR and blotter tests are acceptable.  PCR test protocols varying from that developed at UC Davis are subject to validation.
    • Watermelon Fruit Blotch. A sample of each lot must be tested for BFB by an accredited Pathology Testing Laboratory or Facility. Prior to the issuance of a seed inspection report the results of a 30,000 - seedling growout (or 10% by seed count on lots smaller than 300,000 seeds) for BFB must be provided to the CCIA.
    • Aschochyta Blight of garbanzo beans. A 450 gram sample (of one thousand (1,000) pure live seed) should also be submitted for Ascochyta Blight (Asochyta rabiei) testing.
    • Sclerotinia in sunflowers. Amount of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum must be indicated on analysis report by number found in 500 grams. Sclerotia and sclerotia fragments must not exceed 10 in 500 grams.
    • Test/Bushel weight required for rice, barley, oat, rye, triticale, wheat and durum wheat.
  • If a seed laboratory does not have disease testing capabilities, the seed company may utilize the services utilize a 2nd laboratory for separate report.
  • Seed Laboratories testing seed samples of lots receiving OECD certification must be authorized to do these tests by the USDA. See List of US OECD Authorized and/or Official Entities:

23.1   Certification Seed Testing. Tests  are conducted for purity, germination, varietal identification, or diseases.  Tests are conducted following the AOSA rules of testing and tolerances. The  criteria for seed inspections are defined in the CCIA individual crop standards. Test results  are compared against the Crop Standards to determine if the seed lot meets certification  requirements. Specific additional tests may include:

  1. Presence of California prohibited and/or restricted noxious weed seed.

  2. Varietal  purity may be determined by physical and/or chemical characteristics of the seed.

  3. Disease tests – Ascochyta Blight, Bacterial Fruit Blotch, Rice Blast.

Go to Section 25. OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development)

Updated: May 2017

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