Sample processing of cultivated barley and wild relatives genetic resources

Contributors to this page: ICARDA, Syria (Ahmed Amri, Bilal Humeid, Kenneth Street, Natalya Rukhkyan, Jan Konopka, Siham Asaad, Adnan Omran and Fida Alô).

Seed cleaning
Seed drying
Seed moisture content

Seed cleaning

Cleaning is the removal of physical contamination from the plant materials after harvest, before they can be stored.

For cultivated barley:

Mechanical harvesting of barley (photo: ICARDA/GRS)

Threshing barley with a di-awner (photo: ICARDA/GRS)

Cleaning barley with a wind blower (photo: ICARDA/GRS)

Cylinder seed cleaner (photo: ICARDA/GRS)

Hand cleaning of barley seeds (photo: ICARDA/GRS)

Hand harvesting of Aegilops sp.(phto: ICARDA/GRS)

For barley wild relatives:

Visual inspection of seeds

This is a quality control process that must be carried out after harvesting the seeds.

For insect and fungal damage

For mechanical damage and empty seeds

Special treatments

Disposal of contaminated material

Inspection and certification

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Seed drying


Drying time

Moisture content before drying

Moisture content for storage

Critical moisture content

Recording information during seed cleaning and drying

The following information should be recorded for each processing step:

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Determination of seed moisture content


Sampling frequency

Sample size


Oven drying temperature


Recording information during determination of seed moisture content

The following information should be recorded for each step:

References and further reading

ISTA. 2005. International Rules for Seed Testing. Edition 2005. International Seed Testing Association, Bassersdorf, Switzerland.

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The Genebanks

The 11 CGIAR genebanks currently conserve 730,000 of cereals and grain legumes, forage crops, tree species, root and tuber crops, bananas and crop wild relatives.