Tag Archives: Seed technology

Call for papers: Smoke ecology/technology

Some of you may know that one of my (Marnie Light’s) favourite topics of research is related to the effects of plant-derived smoke on seed germination. In November last year, I attended a ‘special session’ on smoke ecology at the 6th International Fire Ecology & Management Congress organised by the Association for Fire Ecology (AFE). The special session was hosted by Dr Mary Lata, who arranged the programme for the special session. It was fantastic to have an entire session dedicated to this topic, and a great opportunity for me to meet Prof. Jon Keeley (USA) and Prof. Mark Ooi (Australia), as well as several other researchers in the field.

Following some discussion with the organisers and the Editor-in-Chief of the South African Journal of Botany, it was decided to run a special issue on ‘Smoke Ecology and Applications of Plant-Derived Smoke‘ in the journal. The aim of this is to highlight some of the research presented at the AFE congress, as well as to publish articles on related topics.

We are inviting anyone who has carried out research relating to the effects of plant-derived smoke on seed germination or plant growth (smoke ecology/technology) to submit their manuscripts for inclusion in this special issue.

For more information, please click SAJB Special issue – Smoke Ecology (Flyer) for a copy of the ‘flyer’, and SAJB Special Issue – Smoke Ecology (Detailed call for papers) for more detail on the requirements and how to submit your article. Please contact the guest editors of this special issue should you have any queries.


Maximising seed resources for restoration

Here’s another interesting article that was published at the end of 2015:

Maximizing seed resources for restoration in an uncertain future
Linda M. Broadhurst, Thomas A. Jones, Forrest S. Smith, Tom North, Lydia Guja

This is a nice article that discusses the need to “develop a range of flexible strategies” in order to meet the growing demand for seed-based plant restoration projects.

Vacancy: Seed Technology Manager (Johannesburg, South Africa)

The position of Seed Technology Manager has become available in the Research Department at the Stark Ayres Head Office in Johannesburg (South Africa). Deadline for application is 15 January 2016, and more information can be found here: Seed Technology Manager – KFN – Dec 2015

Reporting to the Research Manager, the purpose of the position is twofold:

(1) To develop, seek, test and implement seed treatments and technologies to complement Starke Ayres genetics, and

(2) To oversee functioning of the QA process by taking into account all relevant data for each seed lot (genetic purity, seed health, germination and vigour) and deciding on the most appropriate course of action in order to maximize rapid sale of approved seed and minimize risk for potentially problematic seed lots.

 Responsibilities include:

  • Continuously look out for new ways to positively complement and add value to the genetics of Starke Ayres seeds.
  • Oversee implementation and adoption of validated treatments/methods into the factory.
  • Design and develop novel seed treatment processes to apply seed treatment formulations to seeds that maintain or improve upon treated seed characteristics and that are transferable to manufacturing.
  • Monitor trends in quality parameters (moisture / germination) of stored seed lots to ensure minimal loss of saleable seed.
  • Oversee the Quality assurance process from a high level to co-ordinate results from the seed germination laboratory, the biotechnology laboratory and pathology laboratory.

Minimum requirements:

  • MSc (Agric) / MSc with Botany
  • 3 – 5 years’ experience in a similar role
  • Computer literacy (Word & Excel – Intermediate to Advanced level) essential
  • Strong communication and organisational skills and attention to detail will be required in order to be successful in this role.

Interested and suitably qualified? Forward your CV to the HR Department via e-mail: hr@starkeayres.co.za (NB: Please use the name and area of the position as a reference on the application)

Closing date for applications: Friday, 15 January 2016

31st ISTA Congress (June 2016, Estonia)

31st ISTA Congress | Tallinn 2016The 31st Congress of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) will be held from 15 to 21 June 2016 in Tallinn, Estonia.

Proposed session topics include:

  • Applications of germination and dormancy testing
  • Advances in seed health testing for ensuring quality seed production and storage
  • Environmental effects on seed quality
  • Cellular and molecular methods and new approaches to seed quality determination
  • Conservation and use of genetic resources in crop, forest and wild species
  • Presentations on ISTA’s technical work and meetings of ISTA Technical Committees

Registration for this congress opened on 1 October 2015. For more information on the congress, and registration information, click here.

Survey: Seed and seedling sources in forest and landscape restoration

Survey for restoration practitioners: Seed and seedling sources in forest and landscape restoration

Meeting global and national commitments for forest and landscape restoration requires large amounts of tree seed and seedlings, either through planting or natural dispersal and recruitment.

Asia Pacific Forest Genetic Resources Programme (APFORGEN), hosted by APAFRI, is conducting a global survey about the availability of seed and seedlings for forest and landscape restoration, in collaboration with Bioversity International and the regional forest genetic resources programmes in Latin America (LAFORGEN) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SAFORGEN).

If you have been involved in forest and landscape restoration projects, we would much appreciate if you could share your experiences with us.

Click here to start the survey : https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/seeds_for_restoration

The results of the survey will be used to identify action needs and recommendations for countries and the international community on how to improve supply of tree seeds and seedlings, in order to help meet global and national restoration targets.

Thank you for your participation!


Ms. Syuqiyah
Information Officer, APAFRI

(Posted on behalf of APAFRI)


We would like to invite you to attend a conference on ‘Tree seeds – Ecology, physiology and technology’, which we plan to hold in the United Kingdom in 2016 (29th June – 1st July, 2016). There are four proposed themes:


Please let us know if you would be interested in attending, and whether you would prefer to present a paper or poster. Details will follow once we have a better idea of the number of people that are interested in attending this conference (as this will affect where the conference can be held).

Please email Shelagh McCartan or Marnie Light by Friday 18th September so that we can start to plan the conference. We need a minimum of 30 delegates to make the conference worthwhile (financially and scientifically)!

We look forward to hearing from you and your colleagues.

ISSS Workshop on Seed Longevity – 1 week to go!

The ISSS Workshop on Seed Longevity to be held from 5-8 July 2015 in Wernigerode (Germany) is just around the corner – only one week to go! The program looks to be filled with some great presentations by very experienced seed biologists, and is sure to be a good event! If any of our blog followers are fortunate enough to attend, please send us some feedback after the event, and we can post it onto the blog.

For more information, the program and book of abstracts for the workshop are available here.