Seed germination

Automatically analyze complex phenotypes like germination rate, root growth, and time-to-germination with Reshape


Fully automated

With high-level data output

Background independent

Agar, paper or other substrates

Any seed type

Small or large

Reshaping seed germination assays

Seed germination assays have broad applications ranging from seed quality control to new trait development. The Reshape platform offers customized data processing to achieve deeper insights of seed germination through automated imaging and image analysis.

Applications of Seed Germination Assays
  • Test seed viability to assess seed quality prior to sowing
  • Adjust germination conditions to optimize seedling development
  • Evaluate effect of different seed treatments on germination efficiency
  • Study seed-borne diseases
  • Understand soil-seed interactions
  • Determine optimal seed storage conditions for improved longevity

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Seed Germination Assays with the Reshape Imaging System


Seed germination assays have extensive applications:

  • Viability Testing: Essential for assessing seed quality and viability prior to sowing.
  • Optimization of Germination Conditions: Critical for customizing germination conditions to optimize seedling development.
  • Agriculture: Important in evaluating seed treatments, studying seed-borne diseases and understanding soil-seed interactions.
  • Industrial Processes: Key in optimizing conditions for seed storage and determining seed longevity.


The Reshape platform tackles key hurdles faced by scientists:

  • High Throughput Analysis: Enables the simultaneous study of multiple seed types and conditions, boosting efficiency and hastening time to market.
  • Versatility in Assay Design: Adaptable to a variety of factors for proficient design of experiments, catering to diverse research needs while obtaining data on germination rates and seedling vigor.
  • Precision and Reproducibility: Assures accurate and consistent results, minimizing human error and facilitating reproduction across different teams.
  • Integration with Existing Systems: Streamlines workflow and data management, consolidating results into a single platform.
  • Empowering Scientists and R&D Managers: Lessens manual labor, accelerates decision-making, and nurtures innovation.

Application study: Seed Germination on Salt Gradient


Investigate the impact of different NaCl concentrations on broccoli seed germination.


Water scarcity and soil salinization pose great challenges to agricultural productivity. To investigate the affect of salinity stress on broccoli germination, seeds were subjected to salt concentrations ranging from 0 to 400 mM and continuously monitored utilizing the Reshape Imaging System. Tailored data processing allowed automated analysis of seed germination and provided insights of:

  • Germination rate
  • Seed-root ratio
  • Time-to-germination
  • Root growth


Salt gradients affect the germination process of broccoli seeds. The germination and root formation of broccoli seeds were visibly affected by addition of salt to MS growth medium (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Germination timelapse. Broccoli seeds were sown on MS agar medium with salt gradients (0, 100, 200, 300, and 400 mM NaCl). The Reshape imaging system continuously monitored the germination process, capturing images at 30-minute intervals over a span of 3 days.

The germination rate of broccoli seeds is influenced by salt levels. Addition of 100 and 200 mM NaCl reduced the proportion of germinating seeds compared to the control, while higher concentrations completely prevented seed germination (Fig. 2). Furthermore, salt addition delayed onset of germination. Mean time-to-germination showed a direct correlation with rising salt concentrations.

Figure 2. Cumulative Germination. The cumulative percentage of germinating seedlings relative to the total amount of seeds was assessed by AI-powered image analysis. Dashed line: Mean-time-to-germination.

Introduction of salt impacts root growth. The addition of 100 mM NaCl resulted in decreased root length and reduced root growth rate, while 200 mM NaCl had a more pronounced impact, dramatically decreasing root length and further reducing the root growth rate compared to the untreated control sample (Fig. 3)

Figure 3. Root growth. Root growth was monitored by Reshape Imaging system over time. The total root area (mm^2) in response to salt addition (0, 100, and 200 mM) was calculated by customised data analysis.

Seed to shoot ratios greatly affected by salt addition. Quantification of root and seed area revealed that salt addition greatly impact seed-root area ratio, emphasising the sensitivity of root development to salinity stress.

Figure 4. Seed-root ratio. Seed and root growth was automatically detected and quantified using AI-powered data analysis models. The final seed-root area ratio was calculated after 46h germination in response to 0, 100, and 200 mM NaCl.


Reshape Imaging system in combination with tailored data analysis enabled key insights into salinity stress responses in early plant development. Salt concentrations significantly influenced broccoli seed germination leading to reduced germination rate, delayed onset of germination, and impaired root growth.

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