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Arabidopsis Seed counting

Brian M. Parks bmparks at SPAMfacstaff.wisc.edu
Fri Dec 1 10:18:19 EST 2000

stephen.evans at syngenta.com wrote:

>  Hello!
>  Does anyone know of a machine suitable for automated counting of Arabidopsis
>  seed?  We need to count large numbers - not really practical by hand!
>  Any information would be appreciated!

count out a known number of seeds (about a couple hundred is good). now go put
them on the microbalance and get a weight. weigh your bulk amount and do the
conversion. you won't get the exact number, but you'll be close enough for your
purposes i would say. please note, however,  that you should do this 
for each ecotype and even each seed lot. this is because different 
ecotypes will
have slightly different seed weights and some seed lots will be lighter or
heavier on a seed per seed basis than others.

btw - on the batch i used, 200 seeds weighed about 3.4 mg.

now, don't stop here!! while we are on this fun subject, here's a good way to
get a feeling for just how big a mole (6.02 x 10*23) is. once you've 
gotten your
weight per seed, go and determine how many seed are in a given volume 
(say about
100 microliters) by weighing this known volume. now figure out how much volume
you'd need to accomodate a mole of Arabidopsis seed. you WILL be boggled by the

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