Entries by Carlos A. Ordóñez-Parra

Large seeds provide intrinsic growth advantage that depends on leaf traits and root allocation (Funct. Ecol.)

A long-standing premise in plant ecology is that seed mass and growth rate are negatively correlated, meaning that small-seeded species grow faster than large-seeded ones. However, this relationship remains controversial given that the most common measurement for growth rate –Relative Growth Rate (RGR)– is dependent on plant size. Since this dependency makes it difficult to […]

Comparative analyses of extreme dry seed thermotolerance in five Cactaceae species (Environ. Exp. Bot.)

Desert plants must produce seeds that can withstand incredibly high temperatures. Nevertheless, different species of cacti –one of the most emblematic plant groups of these ecosystems– exhibit variable responses to extreme temperatures. In this fascinating paper, Visscher and colleagues conduct a thorough characterization of the seeds of five Cactaceae species with variable thermotolerance to assess […]

Effect of nitrogen addition on selection of germination trait in an alpine meadow on the Tibet Plateau (Front. Plant Sci.)

Considering that atmospheric nitrogen (N) and N deposition have increased due to human activities, understanding the effects of this element in plant communities has become increasingly important. Still, the role of germination traits in these changes at the community level is poorly understood. Here, Liu and colleagues assess the effects of N addition on the […]

Review: Functional packaging of seeds (New Phytol.)

In this review, Huss and Gierlinger describe the different anatomical features that shape sclerenchyma function in hard seed encapsulations. Hard encapsulations are classified as static (non-deforming at the macroscopic level) or responsive (deforming in response to environmental changes), depending on whether they deform during their life cycle. The properties of these structures depend on sclerenchyma […]

A tale of two morphs: seed coat differentiation in the dimorphic diaspore model Aethionema arabicum (Brassicaceae) (Plant J.)

While most plants have a single fruit and seed form, several species produce two or more distinct fruit and seed types, although the mechanisms behind this phenomenon remain unknown. Here, Arshad and colleagues assess the differences in the internal morphology and transcriptomic profile throughout development of the two diaspore morphs of Aethionema arabicum. One morph […]

Review:  Postzygotic reproductive isolation established in the endosperm: mechanisms, drivers and relevance ($) (Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B)

In this fascinating review, Köhler and colleagues show us that the seed endosperm is not only a nutritive tissue that supports embryo growth, it also nourishes the course of plant evolution. When closely related species or species with different ploidy levels hybridize, endosperm development deviates from its standard pattern and impedes the proper formation of […]

Gaseous environment modulates volatile emission and viability loss during seed artificial ageing (Planta)

The gaseous environment is thought to play a fundamental role in seed longevity in storage conditions, given the role of oxygen and other volatile compounds in seed viability loss. However, formal tests of its influence are still scarce compared to other storage parameters such as temperature and humidity. In this paper, Han and colleagues assess […]

Review: Ageing beautifully: can the benefits of seed priming be separated from a reduced lifespan trade-off? (J. Exp. Bot.)

Seed priming is a family of presowing techniques that control water uptake in seeds, so they are dehydrated once metabolic activities have restarted but before the end of germination. Primed seeds have shown increased and more synchronized germination, especially under stressful conditions, making these techniques highly interesting to be applied in agriculture. However, its impact […]

Fossil palm reading using fruits to reveal the deep roots of palm diversity (Am. J. Bot.)

One of the biggest challenges when using fossils in plant evolution studies is establishing the phylogenetic relationships between fossils and modern plants. This task is particularly complicated with fossils from flowers or fruits, given the little information available for most groups’ reproductive morphology and anatomy. In this outstanding paper, Matsunaga and Smith build a database […]