Use of temperature-responsive polymer seed coating to control seed germination

G. A. Johnson, D. H. Hicks, R. F. Stewart, Xianming Duan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


A new type of polymeric seed coating has been developed by Intellicoat Corporation that is based on Intelimer temperature responsive polymers. Intelimer polymers exhibit temperature-induced phase transitions that change the permeability properties of the polymer. Laboratory tests investigating moisture uptake and cold stress germination rates in corn seed showed that water uptake was significantly reduced in seeds coated with Intelimer polymers compared with uncoated seeds after 48 hours at 10 and 25 °C. Water uptake was also much less at 10 °C than 25 °C. Cold stress germination tests demonstrated that germination of coated seed was significantly improved compared with uncoated seeds but was dependent on the hybrid seed used. Stand establishment studies in the field showed significant improvements for three of the six hybrids when a seed coating was used. Intelimer seed coating technology was also investigated as a method of delaying germination and hence pollen shed in inbred corn lines. Results from these studies indicate that polymeric coated seed treatments delayed pollination by 55-70 heat units without shortening pollen spread. Overall, stand establishment of coated seeds was very close to uncoated seeds. Coated seeds was at least as effective as mowing and flaming in delaying pollen shed of inbred corn lines tested. The ability to time seed germination and emergence is a critical component related to successful stand establishment and plant breeding programs. In agriculture, this technology shows promise in seed production and corn breeding programs as well as risk management associated with pollination in value-added crops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVI Symposium on Stand Establishment and ISHS Seed Symposium
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9789066057821
StatePublished - 1999

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572


  • Corn (Zea mays L.)
  • Plant Breeding
  • Pollen shed delay


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