AOSA and SCST are proud to provide members with quality publications. Below you will find a list of available publications along with order forms for each.



The AASCO Handbook on Seed Sampling presents methods, guidelines and equipment for both regulatory and industry applications to uniformly obtain representative seed samples for laboratory testing.  It also provides sampling procedures for the USA Accredited Seed Sampling Program (ASSP) for national and international certification and may be recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).  The intent is to provide a broadly adaptable format to all seed sampling situations so that the resultant laboratory analyses accurately reflect the quality of the seed lot and prevent potential trade barriers from variability in sampling.



Brazilian Association of Seed Technology

ROA Handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to provide explanation and guidelines for increased clarity and standardization of Reports of Analysis, while retaining the flexibility to report a wide variety of information.

The goals of the ROA handbook are as follows:

  • To provide a reference for those setting up a new laboratory reporting system or revising a current one.
  • To increase the standardization of Reports of Analysis among laboratories.
  • To provide an explanation and specific information regarding required components and answer basic questions.
  • To provide a reference for suggested methods of reporting special cases that are not routine to the laboratory.
  • To provide suggestions for the practical aspects of ROA such as liability statements, electronic reporting, checking database calculations, corrected reports, etc.
  • To emphasize the ethics of reporting and explain what is expected of the analyst and the laboratory.
  • To provide a self-analysis checklist to critique and improve a laboratory’s current Report of Analysis.



Seed Technology Journal

Visit Seed Technology Journal Website today!

Seed Technology is an international journal containing scientific and technological papers in all areas of seed science and technology. The emphasis is on applied and basic research in seed physiology, pathology and biology that may relate to seed development, maturation, germination, dormancy and deterioration. Studies on seed production, sampling, testing, conditioning, distribution and storage are also included. Short communications from seed analysts and technologists are encouraged and will be published as Seed Tech Notes. These notes include new techniques, standardization of laboratory tests and documentation of anatomical and pathological observations of seed and seedling development. The journal also includes timely review articles in all areas of seed technology that may relate directly to the seed industry.


AOSA Seed Testing Rules & Handbooks

AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds

2016 AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds
AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds Volume 1. Principles and Procedures
AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds Volume 2. Uniform Blowing Procedure
AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds Volume 3. Uniform Classification of Weed & Crop Seeds
AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds Volume 4. Seedling Evaluation

The 2016 updated AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds are now available.  The Rules consists of four volumes, together these publications set the standard for seed testing in North America and are recognized internationally.  The AOSA Rules are updated annually on October 1st and contain progressive techniques researched and developed by the expert members of AOSA and SCST.

Seed testing has been developed to aid agriculture in avoiding some of the hazards of crop production by furnishing needed information about seeds that are to be used for planting purposes. This information may be desired for the seed producer or seed dealer in connection with seed conditioning or merchandising; as a guide to the person who will plant the seed; or for seed control purposes. In all these cases the ultimate purpose of making the test is to determine the value of the seed for planting.

AOSA has developed, especially in connection with the enforcement of labeling laws, a standard analysis that furnishes information as to the composition of the seed sample and of the ability of the seed to produce plants. It is desirable to have definitions and fundamental procedures agreed upon that are based on a thorough knowledge of the principles involved. The Rules summarize and make useful the accumulated experience of seed analysts, and are to be followed as a matter of routine.

Seed Vigor Testing Handbook

The Association of Official Seed Analysts is pleased to announce the publication of a new Seed Vigor Testing Handbook. The new handbook is a comprehensive revision of the 1983 and 2002 versions that set the standard for vigor testing. As a methodical and detailed resource, the handbook will be of value to seed technologists, scientists, students, and industry personnel interested in the fascinating subjects of seed vigor and seed quality. The Seed Vigor Testing Handbook has been internationally recognized as an important tool for all aspects of vigor testing, and the new edition represents the definitive authority on the theory, standardization, applications and methods of seed vigor testing.

The handbook is divided into four parts, each covering a different aspect of vigor testing. Part One focuses on explaining the importance of vigor testing, its rich history, basic vigor concepts and definition of seed vigor. Part Two emphasizes important issues related to the standardization of vigor tests such as use of standards, control samples, tolerances, sampling techniques, etc., general procedures for controlling variation, as well as presentation and interpretation of vigor test results. In Parts Three and Four, the authors have taken a new approach to classifying seed vigor tests by dividing them into categories according to Aging, Cold, Conductivity, Seedling Performance, and Tetrazolium tests. Part Three focuses on the principles of each vigor test, while Part Four presents detailed descriptions of test procedures. Considerable research in vigor testing has been reported since 1983 for specific crops. This information is compiled in an Appendix that lists more than 50 major crops and the vigor tests that have been successfully used to test them.


  • PART ONE: THE IMPORTANCE OF SEED VIGOR TESTING. History of Seed Vigor Testing; Standardization of Seed Vigor Tests; Seed Vigor Concepts
  • PART TWO: VARIABLES AND GENERAL PROCEDURES IN VIGOR TESTING. Variables in Vigor Testing; Use of Control Samples; Tolerances; Proper Sampling Techniques; Determinations of Soil Moisture Content and Water Holding Capacity; Adjusting Seed Moisture Content; Assessing Seed Size (Weight) Variation; Proper Placement of Replicates in Germination Chambers.
  • PART THREE: SEED VIGOR TESTS – PRINCIPLES. Aging tests; Cold Stress Tests; Conductivity Tests; Seedling Performance Tests; Tetrazolium Tests For Seed Vigor Determination.
  • PART FOUR: SEED VIGOR TESTS – PROCEDURES. Accelerated Aging Test; Saturated Salt Accelerated Aging Test; Controlled Deterioration Test; Cold Test; Saturated Cold Test; Cool Germination Test; Electrical Conductivity Test; Single Seed Conductivity Test; Potassium Leakage Test; Speed of Germination Test; Seedling Growth Rate Test; Computer Imaging Tests; Tetrazolium Vigor Test For Corn; Tetrazolium Vigor Test For Peanut; Tetrazolium Vigor Test For Cottonseed; Tetrazolium Vigor Test For Dry Beans; Tetrazolium Vigor Test For Soybeans.

The Association of Official Seed Analysts acknowledges the significant contributions of all authors and especially the four editors who reviewed the final draft: Drs. Riad Baalbaki, Sabry Elias, Julio Marcos-Filho, and Miller B. McDonald; their contributions to the advancement of seed technology are sincerely appreciated. The new Seed Vigor Testing Handbook is an important demonstration of AOSA’s commitment to the refinement and modification of the rules and procedures for seed testing, and ensuring that testing procedures are standardized between analysts and among laboratories.

Seed Moisture Testing Handbook

Authors: Dr. Sabry Elias, Dr. Riad Baalbaki, Dr. Miller McDonald

This innovative handbook provides standardized procedures for testing moisture and enhances the value of the AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds.  Seed moisture content is an important aspect of seed quality.  It influences production decisions related to harvest, conditioning, and storage.  Knowledge of seed moisture content prior to treatment is essential for optimum seed enhancement protocols such as priming, pelleting, coatings, etc.  Seed moisture must be monitored during storage to minimize microorganism development, maintain seed quality, and assist inventory management.  Seed moisture also influences germination with respect to imbibitional damage, speed of germination and seedling development.

Cultivar Purity Handbook

Currently being updated

New crop cultivars are continually developed and released. In addition, the methods for development of new cultivars are changing. Recent advances in biotechnology (molecular genetics) promise to add significant diversity to current crop germplasm. These advancements have led to an increasing dilemma for breeders, the seed industry, certification agencies, and seed enforcement individuals in their attempt(s) to assure maintenance of genetic integrity for these improved agricultural products. Traditional approaches utilizing plant morphological traits have proven limiting and often fail to provide the speed of identification essential for the movement of seed in commerce. As a result, there is a greater need to explore alternative methods to characterize crop cultivars.

This AOSA Cultivar Purity Testing Handbook is, in part, a response to that request. This Handbook collates cultivar purity information from various sources into one common reference. As with any Handbook, continuing research, development, and refinements in testing techniques are expected to culminate in new test methodologies and present test revisions. To accommodate these modifications, this Handbook has been prepared in loose-leaf format so that new sections can be added when appropriate. Color photographs are presented to depict differences among cultivars. Color slides of these same traits are also available from the AOSA Secretary.

Tetrazolium Testing Handbook

AOSA and SCST are pleased to announce the availability of the 2010 edition of the Tetrazolium Testing Handbook. This significantly expanded and updated handbook is the result of 10+ years of effort by the Tetrazolium Subcommittee and collaboration by many seed analysts in the Society of Commercial Seed Technologists and the Association of Official Seed Analysts.

The intent of the handbook is to offer guidelines and methodologies in tetrazolium testing.  The ultimate goal is to improve uniformity in tetrazolium seed testing by providing standardized, detailed procedures and clear evaluation criteria. The addition of color photographs and many new families makes this handbook an essential resource for all seed laboratories that conduct tetrazolium tests and the seed industry.

A combination of illustrations and photographs are used to describe seed/embryo morphology, preparation/cutting techniques, and TZ staining patterns.  The handbook includes over 100 plant families, comprehensive principles and procedures, with family and genera specific information.  A bibliography at the end of the handbook lists references associated with tetrazolium seed testing.

The handbook’s notebook format is intended to encourage further refinement and experimentation with the TZ methods and techniques.  Ample space for notes allows analysts to personalize the instructions.  Part 2 is unpaginated to allow easy updates and additions of plant family procedures as they are developed.  It is the committee’s hope that analysts will continue to share experiences and improve the handbook by submitting suggested changes to the committee.  Periodic additions and changes are the best way to ensure that the handbook will continue to meet the needs of analysts and the seed industry.

Individual page updates can be found here: TZ Handbook Updates

SCST Seed Technologist Training Publications

Seed Technologist Training Manual

This manual represents the most comprehensive treatment of seed testing technology anywhere. Over 450 pages, 150 color photographs, and 735 drawings of seeds are presented in 15 chapters authored by the most prominent seed technologists in the field.

Of particular importance is the treatment of Genetic Purity Testing since genetically modified crops are becoming increasingly prominent in the marketplace. In addition to traditional cultivar purity testing, this chapter addresses herbicide bioassay testing, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), electrophoresis (starch, PAGE, and IEF) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technologies.

Individuals that will find this Training Manual useful include beginning and practicing seed technologists as well as the broader membership of the seed industry to include seedsmen, researchers and government agencies. Students interested in proper approaches to seed testing will also find this text worthwhile.

Seed Technologist Training Manual Chapter 14 update (*Print, CD or Electronic)

February 2016- Chapter 14 on Genetic Testing has been revised and expanded! The chapter can be ordered separately or the 2005 version as part of the complete manual- see the order form for details.


What is Seed Vigor? CD

Vigor_CDweb.jpgSeeds are the delivery system for improved cultivars to the consumer. Thus, high physiological seed quality is essential for the attainment of an acceptable plant population in the field or greenhouse. High germinating seed lots may differ substantially in field emergence when sown at the same time in the same environment. These differences are caused by another important measure of seed quality, seed vigor. This CD defines the concept of seed vigor as it relates to germination, describes the types of seed vigor tests and relates to the usefulness of seed vigor to the farmer and seed industry. It is intended to educate seed analysts, seed professionals, students and the consumer regarding the important implications of seed vigor to the seed industry and the farmer.