Background: Rapid detection of seed germination will be a valuable tool for seed testing laboratories and commercial seed companies. The EC test has been accepted into ISTA rules for beans. The potential of the electrical conductivity test (EC) readings in predicting total and normal germination of nine white coated and nine coloured coated French bean cultivar seeds was examined. Methods: Nine different white coated and nine coloured coated French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivars were obtained from different sources. EC measurements for predicting germination were carried out 2, 4, 6 and 8 h during soaking at 20C. Germination test was conducted on three replicates of 50 seeds in between wet towel papers for 8 days at 25C in the dark. Result: Regression models were developed between EC and percentages of normal and abnormal seedlings in the germination test. EC readings at 2, 4, 6 and 8 hours were negatively related to percentage of total (R2=0.717, 0.830 P<0.05) and normal germination percentages (R2=0.762, 0.897 P<0.05). Results suggested that EC measurements carried out in between 2 and 8 hours soaking can be used for the estimation of seed germination in beans.
Key words: Beans, Electrical conductivity test, Germination test, Predicting germination.