Entries by Carlos A. Ordóñez-Parra

Review: Why don’t genetically identical seeds germinate at the same time?

If you’ve ever conducted a germination experiment, you’ve probably asked yourself: what causes seeds to germinate at different times? The most obvious answer would be to point to genetic differences, but this phenomenon also occurs in genetically identical seeds. In this exciting paper, Sharma and Majee bring us a comprehensive review of the different physiological […]

SSR markers are useful tools in wheat varietal purity and genetic diversity assessment

Different breeding programs worldwide have developed various cultivars that can cope with changing and increasingly unpredictable environments while meeting market needs. These developments have brought a new challenge: creating tools to distinguish such varieties and trace their genetic purity. Using 40 wheat cultivars grown in Romania, Vasile and collaborators show that Simple Sequence Repeat markers […]

Plants cultivated for ecosystem restoration can evolve towards a domestication syndrome

The pressing need to restore degraded areas has led to an unprecedented demand for native seeds. However, seeds are not always available in sufficient quantity and quality in nature, so some restoration practitioners might opt to source their seeds from wild plants grown on farms, just like any crop. While this practice has great potential […]

Opinion. Burning lignin: overlooked cues for post-fire seed germination

Smoke is a crucial germination trigger in ecosystems with naturally recurring fires, such as savannas and Mediterranean forests. There are various compounds in smoke, yet karrikins (KARs) –the primary product of cellulose combustion– have dominated the research efforts to elucidate the mechanisms behind smoke-promoted germination. In this piece, Cao and collaborators draw our attention to […]

More warm-adapted species in soil seed banks than in herb layers

Climate change profoundly impacts plant communities, for example, by changing the geographic range of some species and locally extinguishing others. Yet these changes take time, maybe a few years, to be observed. This lag between climate and plant communities changes could result from the soil seed bank (i.e., the reserve of viable, ungerminated seeds in […]

Opinion: The role of microbial inheritance in the assembly of the plant microbiome

Seeds not only carry the embryo that will germinate and give rise to a new individual, but they are also the vector to the next generation for microorganisms from the mother plant and the environment. Consequently, seeds link the microbiome between plant generations. In this thorough review, Abdelfattah and colleagues take us on the journey […]

Does fire drive fatty acid composition in seed coats of physically dormant species?

Physical dormancy is imposed by an impermeable seed coat that prevents water uptake. For germination to occur, this coat must be broken. Fire passage, for example, breaks physical dormancy in ecosystems where such events are recurrent. However, the mechanisms behind how fire achieves this has yet to be explored. Fatty acids (FAs) influence seed coat […]