Seed Science & TechnologyDr. S. K. Chakrabarty
Head (Acting) & Principal Scientist
Phone: 011-25841428
FAX: 011-25841428
E-mail: head_sst[at]iari[dot]res[dot]in, dkyadav[at]iari[dot]res[dot]in


Uniform protocols and procedures for the seed quality evaluation and field standards for seed production were required during 1960s when some new maize varieties were introduced and Government’s initiative for making the quality seed of improved varieties available. In this direction the lead was taken by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi where a separate section of seed testing was established in the erstwhile Division of Botany in 1961. Later on in 1968 it was upgraded to a full-fledged Division of Seed Technology to provide leadership in maintenance breeding, seed production, certification, quality evaluation, storage, physiology, pathology, variety identification, genetic purity evaluation and DUS testing for plant variety protection, development of seed quality assessment procedures and human resource development. The present nomenclature as Division of Seed Science and Technology was given in 1984 with the following mandate.


  • Research on development of seed production technology for field and vegetable crops
  • Basic, strategic and applied research on seed quality assessment, maintenance and enhancement
  • Standardization of seed testing procedures and promotion of effective networking among State Seed Testing Laboratories for achieving uniformity in seed testing at national level and collaboration with ISTA facilitating implementation of Seeds Act, Plant Variety Protection and Farmers’ Rights Act
  • Strengthening human resource development in seed science and technology through teaching and training
  • Enhancing quality seed availability through farmers’ participation

Major achievements

  • Standardization of hybrid seed production technologies for field crops viz. rice, maize, pearl millet, sunflower and Indian mustard, and vegetable crops viz. tomato, brinjal, cauliflower, bitter gourd and pumpkin
  • Identification of the vigour test for field crops
  • Weed seed identification, conservation and documentation for improving seed quality evaluation
  • Standardization of seed testing procedures in field (ragi, khesari, red gram), vegetable (fenugreek) and green manure crops (sunhemp, dhaincha), pasture grasses, medicinal plants and seed spices
  • Seed certification standards developed for two seed spices i.e., Carum carvi (Caraway) and Nigella sativa (Kalajira)
  • Development of electrophoresis protocols for varietal characterization, identification and genetic purity testing in wheat, rice, maize, bajra, sorghum, soybean, sunflower, cotton and castor
  • Identification of molecular markers for hybridity testing in brinjal and transgenics in cotton
  • Standardization of seed enhancement technology in paddy, maize, soybean, chickpea, wheat, cotton, bajra, brassica, okra etc.
  • Development of management strategies against seed borne diseases namely Brown spot and Sheath rot in paddy
  • Characterization of rice varieties including farmers’ land races based on DUS test characteristics and molecular markers and development of database
  • Development of Indian DUS test guidelines for rice and pearl millet by integrating morphological, biochemical and molecular markers
  • Facilitation of DUS testing through finalization of National test guidelines for thirty five crops and development of critical manpower in PPV&FR Act, 2001 implementation
  • Scientists of Division are associated in various crop varieties development and their maintenance with the Division of Genetics in all mandate crops

Ongoing programmes

  • Development of technologies/ methodologies for quality seed production, maintenance of seed purity and varietal identification
  • Seed quality enhancement by processing, packaging and storage options in high volume seed crops
  • Seed quality enhancement by processing, packaging and storage options in low volume seed crops
  • Development of protocols, validation and execution for quality seed production through farmers for sustainable truthfully labeled seed production system


  • Basic research lead technology development for hybrid seed production in rice, Indian mustard, pigeon pea, pearl millet, single cross speciality maize and cauliflower.
  • Assessing the effect of high temperature on seed yield and quality in parental lines of wheat hybrids.
  • Evaluation and understanding the seed vigour and dormancy traits in rice.
  • Deciphering the differential response of seed quality traits in conventional and quality Indian mustard genotypes.
  • Seed compositional effect on vigour and storability in speciality maize
  • Physiological and molecular mechanisms of seed priming in pigeon pea and soybean under various a-biotic stresses.
  • Evaluation of morphological, physiological and molecular traits associated with seed vigour and longevity in mini-core collections of soybean.
  • Standardization of machine and crop variables for multi-stage mechanical seed processing.
  • Seed quality enhancement technology for direct seeded rice, summer mung bean, chickpea and pigeon pea.