Comparative physiological analysis of mutant Arabidopsis seeds under defined environmental conditions was used to analyse the relative contributions of components of peroxisomal beta-oxidation in the control of seed germination potential. The COMATOSE (CTS) and KAT2 loci were shown to play essential roles in regulating germination and establishment potentials, whereas LACS6 and LACS7 loci only influenced establishment following germination. The viability and desiccation tolerance of three different mutant alleles of CTS were shown to be intermediate between that of dormant and non-dormant wild-type seeds. Analysis of ttg-1 cts-1 double mutant seeds demonstrated that the cts lesion did not influence after-ripening capacity. These data demonstrate the importance of peroxisomal beta-oxidation in the control of germination potential, but suggest that breakdown of stored lipid is not an important prerequisite for germination. A function is suggested for CTS following after-ripening within pathways related to the progression of germination prior to radicle emergence.