Seed Science and Technology Journal (SST)

Edited by: Anne-Bulow-Olsen
International Seed Testing Association (ISTA)
ISSN 0251-0952

This journal is published by ISTA in 3 issues a year, together containing 600-800 pages. Contributions are written in English, French or German, and include a summary in English. In 1973 SST was launched to replace the Proceedings of the International Seed Testing Association which had been published for many years and contain many historically interesting articles (a general index is available). The new journal contains original papers and review articles in all areas of science and technology which may be applied to the production, sampling, testing, storing, processing and distribution of seed. The journal is designed to meet the needs of research workers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality. SST also records the proceedings of the Association's meetings and the International rules for seed testing. These are published as supplements and are not included in the subscription price.

For more information about the journal, visit the Web site:

International rules for seed testing

Complete set of rules (3 parts) valid 1st January 2002
ISTA 1999
ISBN 3-906549-27-5
Available in English, German and French
Versions in Spanish and Portuguese are in preparation.

ISTA's primary instrument in promoting uniformity in seed testing procedures are the International Rules for Seed Testing, which lay down detailed standard techniques and procedures. The publication includes two parts: "Rules" prescribing principles and definitions, and "Annexes" describing in detail, assisted by many tables, the methods to be used. The "Rules" and "Annexes" are designed for the principal crop species of the world but apply in principle, if not in detail, to any species of crop plant not mentioned in the text.

The International Rules for Seed Testing are approved and amended from time to time at Ordinary Meetings of ISTA on the basis of advice tendered by the Technical Committees of ISTA. As of July 1, 1999, the Rules and Annexes published as Vol.27, Supplement, 1999, will be in force.

Additional information on seed testing can be found in various ISTA Handbooks, however without having legal character.

Explanatory note:
The complete set of the currently valid International Rules for Seed Testing (in force as of January 1, 2002) include the following 3 separate publications: item 0.5: International rules for seed testing 1999 (SST Vol. 27, supplement 1999), item 0.5.1: Rules amendments 2001 (SST Vol. 29, supplement 2, 2001) and item 0.5.2: Annex to chapter 7, Seed health testing methods).

ISTA handbook of tree and shrub seed testing

Gordon, A.G., Gosling, P. and Wang, B.P.S. 1991.
International Seed Testing Association (ISTA)
1st edition, 190 pages, 28 photographs, 30 illustrations, 14 tables.
ISBN 3-906549-20-8, available in English.

This handbook is designed to fill the need for a comprehensive reference book for anyone anywhere in the world interested in testing tree and shrub seeds. Although it covers mostly those seeds moving in international trade, it will provide a starting point for persons with little or no experience who want to begin testing tree and shrub seeds. For the serious analyst, it must be stressed that this handbook does not replace the International Rules, but is meant to be used in conjunction with these and the Handbook on seedling evaluation. In order to make this handbook as comprehensive as possible, chapters on X-radiography and the Indigo Carmine method were included. The inclusion of these two widely used, but not currently Rules-standardized testing procedures should not be construed as granting these methods the status of official prescriptions.

Handbook on tropical and sub-tropical tree seed testing

Poulsen, K., Parratt, M. and Gosling, P. 1998.
International Seed Testing Association (ISTA)
1st edition. 204 pages, over 50 illustrations.
ISSN 3-906549-31-3

This book contains an introductory chapter on seed testing, with consideration of the special difficulties of tropical and sub-tropical tree seeds, followed by sections on approximately 40 species. There is a line diagram of each species' seed/fruit and sometimes foliage, plus sections on flowering, fruit ripening, collection and processing, then seed testing information on purity/thousand pure seed weight statistics, plus methods of dormancy breakage, germination and storage.

Micro-organisms associated with tree seed. World checklist 1990.

Mittal, R.K., Anderson, R.L. and Mathur, S.B.
International Seed Testing Association (ISTA)
Published in conjunction with Forestry Canada, Petawawa National Forestry Institute.
Information Report PI-X-96. English and French. 57 p.
ISBN 0-662-57306-4/ISSN 0714-3354

The ISTA Forest Tree and Shrub Seed Committee¿s Tree Seed Pathology Working Group¿s task of identifying seedborne tree pathogens that could cause serious problems if transported to other geographic areas led to the compilation of the first Checklist in 1985. The need for an update was soon recognized, and this 1990 edition is the result. Literature on the microorganisms associated with tree seeds is available from various sources which are sometimes inaccessible to researchers. The present revised checklist follows the pattern of its 1985 predecessor. The information is presented alphabetically according to host (Latin nomenclature), followed by a list of associated microorganisms with their bibliographic reference(s) and the countries of origin. 339 works are cited. A pathogen index is included.

Project seed laboratory 2000 - 5000

2nd edition
van der Burg, W.J. (editor)
International Seed testing Association (ISTA). 70 p.

Originally published as part of SST 11/1983, No.1 (out of stock). It is a re-edition of a paper prepared in 1979 at the request of FAO. A description is given on how a seed testing station, testing between 2000-5000 samples annually, in tropical and subtropical areas could be established. Directives and general considerations concerning staffing, organization of the work, layout of the building and the equipment needed are given. 46 figures are included. A list of books and journals for a basic seed testing laboratory, updated in 1994, is appended.

last updated:  Wednesday, June 27, 2007