Seed science and technology involves several disciplines such as plant production, agronomy, plant physiology, plant science, entomology and plant pathology.The seed is the most important and essential starting point for a healthy plant. If a seed is not viable a seedling will not emerge. If a seed has low vigour a weak seedling will emerge which in turn may either succumb to environmental conditions or attack by pathogens or insects. It is therefore of the outmost importance to look at the seed to make sure that it is viable and will give rise to vigorous seedlings able to withstand unfavourable environmental conditions and pests.

Correct sampling of a seed lot is essential before any tests can be done on the seed lot. The purity, both physical and genetic, must be determined before testing. All seed should be tested for viability, that is, the germination percentage must be determined and recorded on the seed lot. Furthermore, the vigour of the seed can also be determined using a range of tests. Seed health testing is also of great importance to prevent new pathogens from entering and establishing in the country and to prevent diseases occurring in the field due to seed-borne inoculum. These three aspects are discussed further as they are performed routinely in FABI in the Govender Seed Laboratory.

New Publications

Pieterse E, Aveling TAS, Jacobs A, Cowan DA. (2018) Seasonal variability in fungal endophytes from Aizoaceae plants in the Succulent Karoo biodiversity hotspot, South Africa. Journal of Arid Environments 156:19–26. 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2018.05.004
Mangwende E, Aveling TAS, Kritzinger Q, Truter M. (2018) Alternaria alternata: A new seed-transmitted disease of coriander in South Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology 152(2):409-416. 10.1007/s10658-018-1484-x PDF
van den Berg N, Christie JB, Engelbrecht J, Aveling TAS. (2018) Callose and β-1,3-glucanase inhibit Phytophthora cinnamomi in a resistant avocado rootstock. Plant Pathology 67(5):1150-1160. 10.1111/ppa.12819
Terry Aveling, Truter M, Ramusi TM, Flett B, Godfrey Kgatle. (2018) Alternaria alternata, the causal agent of leaf blight of sunflower in South Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology (151):677 – 688. 10.1007/s10658-017-1402-7 PDF
Appolinaire A., Thierry R., Theresa A.S. Aveling. (2017) Phenolic content as an indicator of resistance of cowpea seedlings to Sclerotium rolfsii.. European Journal of Plant Pathology 149(2):245-251. 10.1007/s10658-017-1178-9 PDF
Ramusi TM, Van Der Waals JE, Labuschagne N, Aveling TAS. (2017) Evaluation of mefenoxam and fludioxonil for control of Rhizoctonia solani, Pythium ultimum and Fusarium solani on cowpea.. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 34(1):27-33. 10.1080/02571862.2016.1155764 PDF
Masangwa J, Kritzinger Q, Aveling TAS. (2017) Germination and seedling emergence responses of common bean and cowpea to plant extract seed treatments.. The Journal of Agricultural Science 155(1):18-31. 10.1017/S0021859616000113 PDF
Kandolo SD, Thompson AH, Calitz FJ, Laurie SM, Truter M, Van Der Waals JE, Aveling TAS. (2016) Field tolerance of selected varieties to and fungicide efficacy against Alternaria blight of sweet potato.. African Crop Science Journal 24(3):331-339. 10.4314/acsj.v24i3.9 PDF
Ndunguru J, Ascencio-Ibáñez JT, Aveling TAS, Tohme J, Thompson G, Legg JP, Plata G, Sseruwagi P, Doyle CD, De León L, Hanley-Bowdoin L. (2016) Two Novel DNAs That Enhance Symptoms and Overcome CMD2 Resistance to Cassava Mosaic Disease. Journal of virology 90(8):4160-4173. 10.1128/JVI.02834-15 PDF
Mandiriza-Mukwirimba G, Kritzinger Q, Aveling TAS. (2016) A survey of brassica vegetable smallholder farmers in the Gauteng and Limpopo provinces of South Africa.. Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics 117(1):35-44. PDF
Rudolph N, Aveling TAS, Labuschagne N. (2015) The effect of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria on seed germination, vigour and seedling growth of maize. Seed Science and Technology 43(3):507-518. 10.15258/sst.2015.43.3.04
Mangwende E, Kabengele JBK, Truter M, Aveling TAS. (2015) First Report of White Rust of Rocket (Eruca sativa) Caused by Albugo candida in South Africa. Plant Disease 99(2):290. 10.1094/PDIS-09-14-0947-PDN
Bekker TF, Aveling T, Labuschagne N, Regnier T, Kaiser C. (2014) Effects of soil drenching of water-soluble potassium silicate on commercial avocado (Persea americana Mill.) orchard trees infected with Phytophthora cinnamomi Rands on root density, canopy health, induction and concentration of phenolic compounds. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 31(2):101-107. 10.1080/02571862.2014.912687 PDF
Aveling TAS. 2014. Global Standards in Seed Health Testing. In: Global Perspectives on the Health of Seeds and Plant Propagation Material. Springer, Netherlands, pp 17-28.
Aveling TAS, Govender V, Kandolo DS, Kritzinger Q. (2013) The effects of treatments with selected pesticides on viability and vigour of maize (Zea mays) seeds and seedling emergence in the presence of Fusarium graminearum. Journal of Agricultural Science 151:474-481. 10.1017/S0021859612000457 PDF
Govender V, Kandolo DS, Kritzinger Q., Aveling TAS. (2013) The effects of treatments with selected pesticides on viability and vigour of maize (Zea mays) seeds and seedling emergence in the presence of Fusarium graminearum. Journal of Agricultural Science 151(4):474-481. 10.1017/S0021859612000457 PDF
Masangwa JIG, Aveling TAS, Kritzinger Q. (2013) Screening of plant extracts for antifungal activities against Colletotrichum species of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp). Journal of Agricultural Science 151:482-491. 10.1017/S0021859612000524 PDF
Thompson RS, Aveling TAS, Prieto RB. (2013) A new semi-selective medium for Fusarium graminearum, F. proliferatum, F. subglutinans and F. verticillioides in maize seed. South African Journal of Botany 84:94-101. 10.1016/j.sajb.2012.10.003 PDF
Domola MJ, Thompson GJ, Aveling TAS. (2008) Sweet potato viruses in South Africa and the effect of viral infection on storage root yield. African Plant Protection 14:15-23. PDF
Govender V, Aveling TAS, Kritzinger Q. (2008) The effect of traditional storage methods on germination and vigor of maize (Zea mays.) from northern Kwazulu-Natal and southern Mozambique. South African Journal of Botany 74:190-196. 10.1016/j.sajb.2007.10.006 PDF
Adandonon A, Aveling TAS, Labuschagne N, Tamo M. (2006) Biocontrol agents in combination with Moringa oleifera extract for integrated control of Sclerotium caused cowpea damping-off and stem rot. European Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s10658-006-9031-6 PDF
Kritzinger Q, Aveling TAS, van der Merwe CF. (2006) Phytotoxic Effects of Fumonisin B1 on Cowpea Seed. Phytopathological/Mycology 34(2):178-186. PDF
Ndunguru J, Legg JP, Fofana IBF, Aveling TAS, Thompson G, Fauquet CM. (2006) Identification of a detective molecule derived from DNA-A of the bipartite begomovirus of East African cassava. Plant Pathology 55:2-10. 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2005.01289.x PDF
Adandonon A, Aveling TAS, Labuschagne N, Ahohuendo BC. (2005) Etiology of and effect of environmental factors on damping-off and stem rot of cowpea in Benin. Phytopathological/Mycology 33(1):65-72. PDF
Adandonon A, Aveling TAS, van der Merwe NA, Sanders G. (2005) Genetic variation among Sclerotium isolates from Benin and South Africa, determined using mycelial compatibility and ITS rDNA sequence data. Australian Plant PAthology 34:19-25. 10.1071/AP04071 PDF
Aveling TAS, Powell AA. (2005) Effect of seed storage and seed coat pigmentation on susceptibility of cowpeas to pre-emergence damping-off. Seed Science and Technology 33:461-470. PDF
Kritzinger Q, Lall N, Aveling TAS. (2005) Antimicrobial activity of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) leaf extracts. South African Journal of Botany 71(1):45-48. PDF
Ndunguru J, Taylor NJ, Yadav J, Aly H, Legg JP, Aveling TAS, Thompson G, Fauquet CM. (2005) Application of FTA technology for sampling, recovery and molecular characterisation of viral pathogens and virus-derived transgenes from plant tissues. Virology Journal 2:45-57. 10.1186/1743-422X-2-45 PDF
Ndunguru J, Legg JP, Aveling TAS, Thompson G, Fauquet CM. (2005) Molecular biodiversity of cassava begomovirus in Tanzania: evolution of cassava geminiviruses in Africa and evidence for East Africa being a center of diversity of cassava geminiviruses. Virology Journal 2(21):1-23. 10.1186/1743-422X-2-21 PDF
Adandonon A, Aveling TAS, Tamo M. (2004) Occurence and distribution of cowpea damping-off and stem rot and associated fungi in Benin. Journal of Agricultural Science 142:561-566. 10.1017/S0021859604004629 PDF