Viability of cultivated rice genetic resources

Contributors to this page: T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Centre-IRRI, Los Baños, Philippines (Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, Ken McNally, Flora de Guzman, Renato Reaño, Soccie Almazan, Adelaida Alcantara, Elizabeth Naredo); WARDA, Cotonou, Benin (Ines Sánchez); UPLB-University of the Philippines at Los Baños (Teresita Borromeo).

Viability testing
Routine monitoring

Viability testing

Laboratory methods

Type of test

Number of seeds and replicates



Preparation of rice seeds for germination testing in moist paper at IRRI (photo: Fiona Hay, IRRI)

Rice germinating in moist paper at IRRI (photo: Fiona Hay, IRRI)

Rice germination in Petri dishes at IRRI (photo: Fiona Hay, IRRI)

Temperature/ Humidity


Duration of test


Monitoring intervals

Recording information during viability testing

Seeds are germinated to check its viability and recorded
(photo: IRRI)

The following information should be recorded for each testing step:

Routine monitoring

Describes the recommended monitoring methods to assure minimum viability and quantity of seeds in storage.


Determine which samples require testing:

Monitoring frequency

Recommends the minimum quantity and minimum viability of seeds below which they need to be regenerated.

Critical quantity

Critical germination level

Recording information during routine monitoring

The following information should be recorded for each step:

The Genebanks

The 11 CGIAR genebanks currently conserve 730,000 of cereals and grain legumes, forage crops, tree species, root and tuber crops, bananas and crop wild relatives.