Entries by Carlos A. Ordóñez-Parra

Seed biologists beware: End-of-trial estimation of initial viability may be error-prone (preprints)

Assessing the viability of ungerminated seeds at the end of a trial is a common practice in seed germination experiments. By doing this, researchers aim to establish the number of viable seeds that were sown in an experiment and estimate germination parameters accordingly. Still, can we be sure that those seeds found to be unviable […]

Opinion: Seeds as natural capital (Trends Plant Sci)($)

Plants are increasingly being recognized for their contributions to human wellbeing. However, most attention has been given to services provided by adult plants or those derived from their interaction with pollinators. In this exciting piece, Mattana and colleagues advocate for the importance of seeds and describe their natural capital value using a total economic value […]

A prion-like protein regulator of seed germination undergoes hydration-dependent phase separation ($) (Cell)

Seed imbibition (i.e., water uptake) marks the beginning of germination, an irreversible process that might lead plants to death if it occurs under unsuitable conditions for seedling development. Therefore, it is expected that seeds only germinate when water is readably available. However, the molecular mechanism behind this control remains to be described. In this fascinating […]

A seed coat-specific β-ketoacyl-CoA synthase, KCS12, is critical for preserving seed physical dormancy ($) (Plant Physiol.)

Physical dormancy is a dormancy class caused by a water-impermeable cell layer that prevents seed water uptake. Despite being present in several families, its molecular basis has seldom been addressed. Here, Chai and colleagues identify a β-ketoacyl-CoA synthase (KCS) –one of the enzymes that participate in very long chain fatty acid (VLCFA) biosynthesis– involved in […]

Review: Fleshy structures associated with ovule protection and seed dispersal in gymnosperms (Crit. Rev. Plant Sci.)

While traditionally known for having their ovules exposed to the environment, all gymnosperm lineages have species with fleshy seed-associated tissues. Here, Nigris and colleagues provide an overview of the vast diversity of fruit-like structures present in gymnosperms and the hypothesis available to explain their origin. Fleshy tissues have evolved multiple independent times through the evolution […]

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 […]