Fishmouthing Squash Seed

“I am a farmer and recently was offered squash seed by my supplier that had a high rate of ‘fishmouthing’. I turned it down because I didn’t know what it was. What is it?



Fish Mouth is a disorder that we sometimes had with long day peppers that we were breeding when I was in graduate school.  It gets the name from having the longitudinal end looking like a fish’s mouth because it occurs when the seed has been harvested prematurely and the micropylar  endosperm hasn’t had enough time to develop and helium at the tip doesn’t fuse properly.  The seed may have an initial decent germination rate, but the lack or decreased amount of endosperm gives it a very short shelf life and decreased vigor.  Also, the seed is highly susceptible to soil-borne pathogens.

Fish mouth can occur on any type of dicot seed.


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