Seed vigor is a major attribute in the determination of whether a seed lot can be commercialized. Different physiological tests are used to assess seed vigor and are generally based on different concepts, which could lead to variable interpretations, particularly when comparing lots presenting different vigor levels. This study was conducted to compare the different approaches used to evaluate bell pepper seed vigor and verify the applicability of the Seed Vigor Imaging System (SVIS) for this purpose. The experiment was performed using four seed lots of bell pepper hybrids in two periods, and the evaluations involved germination, seedling emergence, seedling emergence speed index, saturated salt accelerated aging and image analysis. The use of seedling imaging analysis by SVIS is a new approach for bell pepper seed vigor evaluation. Both the software and traditional tests provided sufficient information for seed vigor analysis, enabling the segregation of the analyzed seed lots. Thus, the new method fulfills the requirement for an efficient, rapid, cost-effective and standardized method that allows comparisons among laboratories and avoids human influence on the interpretation of the results. SVIS can be considered a feasible option to be included in quality assurance programs of the bell pepper seed industry.
seed analysis; SVIS; image analysis; seed quality