Training course Seed Identification

How do you see the difference between the seeds of 693 different species from 105 plant families? The nine major families representing two thirds of the number of plant species, namely 465. These are also extensively covered in the training course Seed Identification.

The aim of the training course is to improve the identification of (other) seeds that are found as impurities in seed samples. A first major step in seed identification is the recognition of the plant family, making it possible to consult efficiently reference collections and seed atlases for a final identification. In this training course, those families will be introduced that represent the majority of the seeds from the ISTA list of stabilized plant names.

The lecturers of the course are prof. dr. René T.J. Cappers and dr. ir. Renée M. Bekker of the University of Groningen.

Starting date: 
12 October 2020

Target group

You are involved in forming and developing policy and the implementation of identity testing, for example granting certification or enforcing Plant Breeders’ Rights.

Date and location

Duration of the training course is 3 days.

Training dates: 12, 13 & 14 October for 2020.

Training hours: 09.00 till 17.00 hours

Location Naktuinbouw, Roelofarendsveen, the Netherlands


The training course will include lectures and practical work. A visit to the flower auction Aalsmeer and the botanical garden Leiden are also part of the program.

The following plant families will be dealt with:

  • Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
  • Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
  • Fabaceae (Papilionaceae)
  • Asteraceae (Compositae)
  • Poaceae (Gramineae)
  • Cyperaceae
  • Malvaceae
  • Boraginaceae
  • Polygonaceae

Practical work will focus on identifying representative seeds from these families. The Digital Seed Atlas of the Netherlands (book and website) will be introduced and available for consultation.


The participation fee includes a copy of the 'Manual for the identification of plant seeds and fruits' (Cappers & Bekker – 2012; Barkhuis Publishing – Groningen), lunches, excursion, official training course dinner on the first day. More information about the course fee will be published in the autumn of 2019.



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