Despite a large number of publications available, the control mechanisms of seed dormancy and germination are far to be fully understood. Seed dormancy and germination are very complex biological processes and because they involve multiple factors (physiological, mechanical, and environmental) and their nonlinear interactions. This explains why extremely little variations on some of those factors and in the way they interact caused enormous variation in the obtained results. Multifactorial process like these can be modeled using computer-based tools to predict better results. In this chapter, some basic concepts relative to seed dormancy and germination and the main factors (physiological, involved in seed dormancy, particularly dormancy-inducers and dormancy-breakers, and seed germination) are reviewed. In the next two, we describe the use of artificial intelligence computer-based models to better understand the physiological mechanisms of seed dormancy (how dormancy is controlled and how can be released) and seed germination. Finally, some applications of artificial neural networks, fuzzy logic, and genetic algorithms to elucidate critical factors and predict optimal condition for seed dormancy-breaking and germination are given as examples of the utility of this powerful computer-based tools.
Part of the book: Seed Dormancy and Germination