Part 1 Seed morphology and development: the seed - structure and function; morphogenetic processes in embryo development of maize. Part 2 Storage compounds - synthesis and accumulation: transport and accumulation of reserve materials in developing seeds - the seed as a sink; seed storage proteins in cereals; seed storage proteins in legumes; regulation of seed storage protein gene expression; synthesis of embryo specific protein during seed development; carbohydrate biosynthesis in seeds; lipid biosynthesis in developing seeds; synthesis and transport of oil body proteins (oleosins) in seeds; mechanisms and regulation of mineral storage during seed development. Part 3 From seed development to germination: mechanisms of dessication tolerance in seeds; regulatory mechanisms in the transition from seed development to germination; genetic control of hormone role in seed development and germination; water relations in germination; control of seed dormancy and germination in the gaseous environment (O2, CO2, C2H4); recent advances in the control of germination by light and temperature; synthesis and secretion of hydrolytic enzymes during germination; carbohydrate degradation during germination; control of mobilization of storage compounds following germination of dicotyledonous seeds. Part 4 Ecology of germination: pollinators and seed production; maternal and environmental effects on seed quality and germination; seed bank ecology; inhibition and promotion of seed germination in soil - dormancy cycles; modelling seed germination of weeds; seed germination of root parasitic plants; seed germination of halophytes; allelopathy and germination; seed germination of desert plants. Part 5 Seed quality improvement - technological advances: loss of seed viability in storage - cytological, biochemical, and genetic aspects; the implications of seed-associated mycoflora during storage; biochemical processes during osmotic priming of seeds; improvement of protein quality in seeds; overproduction of essential amino acids in seeds; artificial seeds.