Production of high-quality seed is the cornerstone of American agriculture. The specialized nature of the seed industry and the unique biology of seeds as life in suspended animation have given rise to seed biology as an important discipline. Seeds are vital as propagating units for the tree, landscape, flower, turf, vegetable, fruit, and agronomic crop industries. American seed companies are one of the significant agricultural industries benefiting from advances in seed research and increased student training. To serve these needs, The Ohio State University (OSU) Department of Horticulture and Crop Science has established an interdisciplinary Seed Biology Program because:
Research in seed biology is the foundation of plant science study. Important basic and applied research areas are 1) Seed production, 2) Seed quality, 3) Seed pathology, 4) Seed physiology/biochemistry, 5) Seed genetics/molecular biology, and 6) Weed seed ecology. These research areas serve as the focus of the OSU Seed Biology Program.
Seed biology is an interdisciplinary program which complements most aspects of plant science study. At OSU, faculty from the Departments of Horticulture and Crop Science, Plant Pathology, Plant Biology, and the School of Natural Resources study seeds and their performance. The integration of these basic and applied disciplines results in breadth in student training and comprehensive research programs.
Seed biology is an important component of international programs in agriculture. A first step in establishing a successful agricultural program in developing countries is to provide growers high-quality seed of superior varieties in sufficient quantity and at reasonable cost. Faculty in the OSU Seed Biology Program have collaborated with or participated in seed development projects in such countries as China, India, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Sudan, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Colombia, Mexico, Uganda, and Poland. The OSU Seed Biology Program affords a unique opportunity for national and international outreach, workshops, and training programs.