Poomaruthai Masilamani Subramanian Venkatesan https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6297-0315 K. Nelson Navamaniraj Palanivel Rajarathinam Arumugam Alagesan https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2698-7187 Krishnasamy Thiagu


Seed orientation and its impacts on germination and seedling establishment mainly depend on the type of germination (hypogeal (or) epigeal), seed size and shape. Higher germination per cent is noticed when seeds are sown in the horizontal position. Planting seeds in a downward position can lead to a variety of physiological, chemical and morphological changes in seedlings. Consequences are usually manifested as noticeable modifications in their development. Vigorous seeds have strong, resilient seedlings due to their well-balanced metabolism and coordinated subcellular activity, making them well-suited for tough environments. Proper plumule and radicle growth require additional hormones and energy to ensure seedling survival. Four necessary factors must be considered while deciding the sowing depth viz., soil moisture, optimum soil temperature, soil aeration and atmospheric humidity required for seed germination, emergence and seedling growth. Variations are observed in germination behaviour and seedling growth for different sowing depths. The necessary factors are very much important for efficient nursery seedlings production. This review looks at the effects of seed depth and orientation on the germination and growth of important agricultural, horticultural and silvicultural crops.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




Depth of sowing, Field emergence, Germination, Seedling growth, Seed orientation

Adeogun, P. F., Jarafu, J. & Usman, A. (2012). Sowing depth and seedling emergence of some Soudano-Sahelian tree species in a containerised experiment. International Conference on Agriculture, Chemical and Environmental Sciences, Dubai (UAE). pp 83-87.
Agboola, D. A. (1996). Effect of storage humidity, seed longevity and sowing depth on seed germination of Prosopis africana (Guill and Perr.) Taub. Bangladesh Journal of Forest Science, 25, 65-70.
Agboola, D. A., Etejere, E. O. & Fawole, M. O. (1993). Effect of orientation and soil types on germination of seeds of some tropical forest tree species, Seed Research, 21, 13-20.
Ahirwar, R. K. (2015). Effect of sowing depth on seed germination of Butea frondosa (Roxb.). International Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 4, 45-47.
Ahn, J., Song, I., Kim, D., Lee, J. C., Moon, S., Myoung, S. & Ko, K. (2017). Effect of Peanut Seed Orientation on Germination, Seedling Biomass, and Morphology in an Oak Tree Sawdust Cultivation System. Horticultural Science and Technology, 402-409. https://doi.org/10.12972/kjhst.20170043
Aikins, S. H. M., Afuakwa, J. J. & Baidoo, D. (2006). Effect of planting depth on maize stand establishment. Ghana Institute of Engineers, 4, 20-25.
Ali, S. A. M. & Idris, A. Y. (2015). Effect of seed size and sowing depth on germination and some growth parameters of faba beans (Fabavicia L). Agricultural and Biological Science Journal, 1, 1-5.
Aou-ouad, H. E., Medrano, H., Lamarti, A. & Gulias, J. (2014). Seed germination at different temperatures and seedling emergence at different depths of Rhamnus spp. Central European. Journal of Biology, 9, 569–578.
Benvenuti, S., Macchia, M. & Miele, S. (2001). Light, temperature and burial depth effects on Rumex obtusifolius seed germination and emergence. Weed Research, 41, 177-186.https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3180.2001.00230.x
Bewley, J. D. (1997). Seed germination and dormancy, Plant Cell, 9, 1055-1066.
Bhat, R. P. (2011) Effect of orientation of seed placement on seedling emergence in some species of calamus. Advances in Bioresearch, 2, 86–89.
Blancaflor, E. B. & Masson, P. H. (2003). Plant gravitropism. Unraveling the ups and downs of a complex process. Plant Physiology, 133, 1677-1690. doi:10.1104/pp.103.032169.
Bowers, S. A. & Hayden, C. W. (1972). Influence of Seed Orientation on Bean Seedling Emergence. Agronomy Journal, 64, 736-738.
Coutts. M. P. (1989). Factors affecting the direction of growth of tree roots. Forest tree physiology. Annals of Forest Science, 46, 277–287.
Desbiolles, J. (2002). Optimizing Seedling Depth in the Paddock. Internet: http://www.unisa.edu.au/amrdc/Areas/Proj/SeedTrials/Seeding deptharticle.pdf.
El-Abady, M. I. (2015). Influence of maize seed size/shape, planted at different depths and temperatures on seed emergence and seedling vigor. Research Journal of Seed Science, 8, 1-11.
Elfeel, A. A. 2012. Effect of seed pre-treatment and sowing orientation on germination of Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del. seeds. American-Eurasian Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, 12, 897–900. DOI: 10.5829/idosi.aejaes.2012.12.07.1757
El-Keblawy, A., Shabana, H. A. & Navarro, T. (2018). Seed mass and germination traits relationships among different plant growth forms with aerial seed bank in the sub-tropical arid Arabian deserts. Plant Ecol Divers, 11, 393–404. doi: 10.1080/17550874.2018.1496365.
Fredrick, C., Chima, U. D.& Allison, A. D. (2018). Effect of sowing depth on the germination and early seedling growth of DialiumguineenseWilld. Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, 10, 10-16.
Grace, A. M. & Mbogue, C. N. N. (2020). Effects of sowing depth on seed germination and seedling growth of Aframomumcitratum (Pereira) K. Schum. African Journal of Plant Science, 14, 262-269.
Guo, C. R., Wang, Z. L. & Lu, J. Q. (2010). Seed germination and seedling development of Prunus armeniaca under different burial depths in soil. Journal of forestry research, 21, 492-496.
Guo, C., Lu, J., Yang, D. & Zhao, L. (2009). Impacts of burial and insect infection ongermination and seedling growth of acorns of Quercus variabilis. Forest Ecology and Management, 258, 1497-1502. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2009.05.044.
Guo, Ke., Li, R. &Werger, M. J. A. (2001). Effect of acorn burying depth on germination, seedling emergence and development of Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata. Acta botanica indica, 43, 974-978.
He, D. & South, D. B. (2006) A review on mechanism of plant geotropism:developing trend in research on pine root geotropism. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 1, 78–84.
Hines, S., Andrews, M., Scott, W. R. & Jack, D. W. (1991). Sowing depth effects on emergence of wheat: the importance of coleoptile length. In Seed Symposium: Seed Development and Germination: Proceedings of a Joint New Zealand Society of Plant Physiologists and Agronomy Society of New Zealand Symposium on Seed Physiology held at Tauranga, Agronomy Society of New Zealand, p. 51.
Huang, S. Q., Liu, G. X. & Han, J. G. (2007). Effect of seed mass and sowing depth on seedling establishment. Pratacultural Science, 24, 44–49.
Jha, S, Sehgal, V. K. & Subbarao, Y. V.(2012) Effect of direction of sowing and crop phenotype on radiation interception, use efficiency, growth and productivity of mustard (Brassica juncea L.). Journal of Agricultural Physics, 12, 37-43.
Kevin, K. K., Bernard, N. K., Laurent, K. K., Ignace, K. K., Pierre, B. J. &Arsene, Z. B. I.(2015). Effects of seed orientation and sowing depths on germination, seedling vigor and yield in oleaginous type of bottle gourd, Lagenaria siceraria (Molina Standl). International Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 4, 46-53.
Koffi, K. K. S., Dosso, K., Aristophanous, M., Moretto, P., Tiho, S. & Wittig, R. M. (2022). The influence of burial depth on germination and establishment of seeds in chimpanzee faeces, Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 38, 480-489.
Koffi, K. K., Ngoran, K. B., Kouakou, K. L., Kouassi, K. I., Baudoin, J. & Zoro Bi, I. A. (2015). Effects of Seed orientation and sowing depths on Germination, Seedling vigour and yield in Oleaginous type of Bottle gourd, Lagenaria siceraria (Molina Standl). International Journal of Research in the Biological, 4, 46-53. 2015.
Kos, M. & Poschlod, P. (2007). Seeds use temperature cues to ensure germination under nurse-plant shade in xeric Kalahari savannah. Annals of Botany, 99, 667-675. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcl293.
Li, Q. Y., Zhao, W. Z. & Fang, H. Y. (2006). Effects of sand burial depth and seed mass on seedling emergence and growth of Nitrariasphaerocarpa. Plant Ecology, 185, 191-198.
Mahdi, L., Bell, C. J. & Ryan, J. (1998). Establishment and yield of wheat (Triticum turgidum L.) after early sowing at various depths in a semi-arid Mediterranean environment, Field Crops Research, 58, 187-196.
Mahgoub, S. (1995). The influence of positioning of seed during sowing on seedgermination of some tree species in relation to germination type and seedshape. In: Proc. IUFRO Symposium on innovations in Tropical Tree Seed Technology. Arusha, Tanzania, pp 149–159.
Masilamani, P. & Dharmalingam, C. (1998). Effect of orientation of drupe placement and depth of sowing on germination and vigour of teak. Advances in Plant Sciences, 11, 205-210.
Masilamani, P., Gurudev, B. S., Chinnusamy, C. & Annadurai, K. (1999). Influence of seed orientation and depth of sowing on germination and vigour of Anjan (Hardwickiabinata Roxb). Short communication. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension, 2, 76–78.
Masilamani, P., Parthiban, K. T., Annadurai, K. & Marimuthu, R. (2012). Germination and vigour of ratanjyot (Jatropha curcas L). Journal of Non-Timber Forest Products, 19, 257-260.
Masilamani, P., Venkatesan, S., Eevera, T. & Alagesan, A., (2022). Effects of seed orientation and sowing depths on germination and seedling vigour in Mahua (Madhuca longifolia). Indian Journal of Forestry, 45, 82-86. https://doi.org/10.54207/bsmps1000-2022-EW6QIP.
McWilliam, S. C., Stokes, D. T. & Scott, R. K. (1998). Establishment of oilseed rape: the influence of physical characteristics of seedbeds and weather on germination, emergence and seedling survival. HGCAProject Report No. OS31. Pp. 99.
Michael, P. D. & Paul, B. C. (2000). Effects of wetting and drying on seed germination and seedling emergence of bull thistle, Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten. Canadian Journal of Botany, 78, 1545-1551.
Molatudi, R. L. &Mariga, I. K. (2009). The effect of maize seed size and depth of planting on seedling emergence and seedling vigour. Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 5, 2234-2237.
Pandey, A. K. and Khatoon, S. (1999). Effect of orientation of seed placement and depth of sowing on seedling emergence in Sterculia urens Roxb. Indian Forester, 125, 720-724.
Pommel, B. & Bouchard, C. (1990). Influence of seed weight and seeding depth on corn seedling growth and development. Agronomy , 10, 699-706.
Power, P. & Fonteyn, P. J. (1995). Effects of oxygenconcentration and substrate on seed germination andseedling growth of Texas wildrice (Zizania texana), Southwest Naturalist, 40, 1-4.
Raja, K.& Sivasubramaniam, K. (2015). Effect of seednut size, sowing orientation and nursery area on germination and seedling vigour in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) var. East coast Tall. Madras Agricultural Journal, 102, 179-181.
Rama Bhat, P. (2011). Effect of orientation of seed placement on seedling emergence in some species of Calamus. Advances in Bioresearch, 2, 86-89.
Reshma, U. (2021). A correlation study of pre-sowing treatments, sowing positions and age of stones after extraction from fruit on germination of mango: Study on germination of mango. Journal of AgriSearch, 8, 99-107.
Reshma, U. R. & Simi, S. (2019). Effect of pre-sowing treatments, sowing positions and age of stones after extraction on germination of mango. International Journal of Current Microbiological and Applied Sciences, 8, 2565-2573.
Rizwan, S. & Aftab, F. (2018). Effect of different pretreatments on breaking seed dormancy and in vitro germination in Jatropha curcas L. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 50, 605-608.
Rodriguez, M. N. & Cassab, G. I. (2021). Primary root and mesocotyl elongation in maize seedlings: Two organs with antagonistic growth below the soil surface. Plants, 10, 1274.
Schillinger, W. F., Donaldson, E., Allan, R. E. & Jones, S.S. (1998). Winter wheat seedling emergence from deep sowingdepths. Agronomy Journal, 90, 582-586.
Seiwa, K., Watanabe, A., Saitoh, T., Kannu, H. & Akasaka, S. (2002). Effects of burying depth and seed size on seedling establishment of Japanese chestnuts, Castanea crenata. Forest Ecology and Management, 164, 149-156.
Shahin, S. M., Mahmoud, A. M. A., El-Fouly, A. S., Nada, M. K. A. & Ibrahim, G. A. (2022). Effect of pre-sowing treatments, seed orientation and their interactions on seed germination and seedling growth of African mahogany (Khaya senegalensis (desr.) A. Juss) tree. Scientific Journal of Flowers and Ornamental Plants, 9, 103-113.
Shiming, D. U. A. N., Huijie, G. U., Baoru, L. I., Hanbing, J. I. A. N. G., Xiying, Z. H. A. N. G. & Xiuwei, L. I. U. (2023). Effects of seed orientation planting on root growth in summer maize. Chinese Journal of Eco-Agriculture, 31, 40-53.
Singh, B., Rawat, J. M. S. & Pandeg, V. (2017). Influence of sowing depth and orientation on germination and seedling emergence of Cinnamomum tamala Nees. Journal of Environmental Biology, 38, 271 – 276.
Soltani, A., Robertson, M. J., Torabi, B., Yousefi-Daz, M. & Sarparast, R. (2006). Modelling seedling emergence in chickpea as influenced by temperature and sowing depth. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 138, 156-167.
Srivastava, A. K., Goering, C. E., Rohrbach, R. P. & Buckmaster, D. R. (2006). Engineering Principles of Agricultural Machines. Michigan, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, pp 604.
Swaminathan, C., Devi, P. N. & Swaminathan, V. (2020). Bulb orientation at sowing influences germination and yield in Onion (Allium cepa L). Indian Horticulture Journal, 10, 56-60.
Takakura, T., Goto, E. & Tanaka, M.(1996). The effect of gravity on plant germination. Advances in Space Research, 18, 255–258. doi:10.1016/ 0273- 1177(95)00886-J.
Thomas, K. M. (1978). Influence of seed size and planting orientation on the germination and growth of coconut seedlings in the nursery. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 48, 63–67.
Tomar, A.& Srivastava, A. (2017). Effect of seed orientation on germination of wild mango Spondias pinnata. The Allahabad Farmer, 1, 7.
Voesenek, L. A. C. J., Colmer, T. D., Pierik, R., Millenaar, F. F. & Peeters, A. J. M. (2006). How plants cope with complete submergence. New phytologist, 170, 213-226.
Willie, E. S. & Waya, A. (2018). Effects of seed orientation at sowing on seedling emergence and early seedling performance in fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis hook. F.). Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research, 5, 34-38.
Yagmur, M. & Digdem, K. (2009). The effects of different sowing depth on grain yield and some grain yield components in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars under dryland condition, African Journal of Biotechnology, 8, 196-201.
Yao, S. D. M., Diarrassouba, N., Diallo, R., Koffi, E. B. Z., Dago, D. N. & Fofana, I. J. (2021). Effects of Sowing Depth and Seed Orientation on the Germination and Seedling Growth in Shea Tree (Vitellaria paradoxa CF Gaertn.) for Rootstock Production in Nursery. Research in Plant Sciences, 9, 13-22. DOI:10.12691/plant-9-1-3
Yao, S. D. M., Diarrassouba, N., Diallo, R., Koffi, E. B. Z., Dago, D. N. & Fofana, I. J. (2021). Effects of Sowing Depth and Seed Orientation on the Germination and Seedling Growth in Shea Tree (Vitellaria paradoxa CF Gaertn.) for Rootstock Production in Nursery. Research in Plant Sciences, 9, 13-22.
Zewdie, T. & Welka, K. (2015). Effect of micropyle orientation on germination of Millettia ferruginea and Delonix regia. Ecological Processes, 4, 1-7.
Zhang, C., Wu, J., Fu, D., Wang, L., Chen, J., Cai, C. & Ou, L. (2015). Soaking, temperature, and seed placement affect seed germination and seedling emergence of Litchi chinensis. Hort Science, 50, 628-632. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.50.4.628.
Zhang, Z., GAO, P. L., DAI, W. M., SONG, X. L., Feng, H. U. & QIANG, S. (2019). Effect of tillage and burial depth and density of seed on viability and seedling emergence of weedy rice. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18, 1914-1923. doi: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62583-9.
Citation Format
How to Cite
Masilamani, P., Venkatesan, S., Navamaniraj, K. N., Rajarathinam, P., Alagesan, A., & Thiagu, K. (2023). Impact of the orientation of seed placement and depth of its sowing on germination: A review. Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 15(1), 314–324. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v15i1.4265
More Citation Formats:
Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)