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Seeds Handbook: Biology, Production, Processing and Storage.

Seeds Handbook: Biology, Production, Processing, and Storage. B. B. DESAI, P.M. KOTECHA, AND D. K. SALUNKHE. Marcel Dekker, Inc., 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016. 1997. Hardback, 627 pp., $185. ISBN 0-8247-0042-2.

Seeds Handbook is intended to serve both as a textbook for upper level undergraduate and graduate students and as a comprehensive reference for persons involved in the seed industry. The book is divided into three sections entitled `Seed Biology and Biotechnology,' `Seed Production,' and `Seed Processing and Storage Technology.' The first section reviews seed morphology, flowering, fruiting and development; the biochemistry of seed dormancy, germination, viability and longevity; and the potential of somatic embryogenesis for the development of synthetic seeds. The second section discusses general techniques used in seed production, including breeding methods; deterioration and maintenance of genetic purity; and cultural, harvest, and post-harvest operations that influence seed yield and quality. Also included are chapters containing examples of specific production practices for over 80 agronomic and horticultural species (i.e., cereal, pulse, oilseed, vegetable, sugar and fiber crops; flowers and ornamentals: and grasses and forage legumes). The third section deals with various aspects of seed conditioning (drying; cleaning; upgrading; and seed treatment, packaging, and handling); seed storage, transportation and marketing; and seed testing, certification, and legislation.

This book was designed to assemble current, basic information on seed biology, production, and processing, as well as specific production practices for individual species, into a single, comprehensive reference. Although one of the objectives of this book was to supply updated information for all of these areas, ultimately this book disappoints because of its failure to include or sufficiently elaborate on recent technological advances within the seed industry. This book provides a good general overview of seed biology, but contains little new information. The basic seed production and processing principles described in this book are sound; however, the practices described fall short on substance and are often outdated and not currently used in more highly industrialized seed producing countries. This book contains several typographical errors and the illustrations are generally poor, particularly in the section on seed biology. A list of references is included at the end of each chapter, which is useful to anyone wanting to obtain further information on a topic included in that particular chapter. The book does not contain chapter outlines, but does include an index at the end of the book to aid the reader in finding information about a specific subject.

John R. Keiser Mycogen Seeds, 1562 Taylor Avenue, P.O. Box 637, Marshalltown, IA 50158 (keiser@mycogen.com)

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Author:Keiser, John R.
Publication:Crop Science
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1998
Words:425
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