Viability of wild rice and related genera 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


Viability is tested initially by placing seeds under conditions conducive to germination and recording the percentage that germinates (photo: IRRI)

Wild species generally have stronger dormancy than cultivated species and differ widely in response to procedures for breaking dormancy.


Temperature/ Humidity


Duration of test

Monitoring intervals

Recording information during viability testing

The following information should be recorded for each testing step:

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Routine monitoring


Minimum viability

Minimum quantity

Monitoring frequency

This section 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:

Note: Health diagnosis (testing) is not recommended during storage of wild rice, due to the usually limited number of seeds in storage.

References and further reading

Naredo MEB, Juliani AB, Lu BR, Guzman F, Jackson MT. 1998. Responses to seed dormancy-breaking treatments in rice species (Oryza L.). Seed Science and Technology 26:675-689.

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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.