Entries by Carlos A. Ordóñez-Parra

How animals shaped fruit traits, and how they did not (Funct. Ecol.)

The dispersal syndrome hypothesis states that frugivores and fleshy-fruited plants coevolve by exerting selective pressures on each other. Even though this idea still prevails, some theoretical issues could make this scenario improbable. As a result, a new chicken-or-egg dilemma appeared: are the frugivores responsible for fruit evolution, or is it the opposite? In this fascinating […]

Nikolaeva et al.’s reference book on seed dormancy and germination ($) (Ecology)

In 1985, Marianna Nikolaeva, Marina Razumova, and Valentina Gladkova published the Reference Book on Dormant Seed Germination. There they provided details on the germination ecology of different plant species –mostly from Northern Europe and Russia. However, since the original publication was in Russian, it remained unnoticed for most seed scientists outside Russia. Fortunately, Rosbakh et […]

Review: Delayed luminescence of seeds: are shining seeds viable? (Seed Sci. Technol.)

Most of the current methods for assessing seed viability are time-consuming and destructive. As an alternative, some authors have suggested using procedures based on delayed luminescence; an ultra-weak light emitted by biological materials exposed to illumination. Here, Adeboye and Börner review the history of seed viability testing, the milestones in the study of delayed luminescence, […]

DNA methylation and integrity in aged seeds and regenerated plants ($) (Seed Sci. Res.)

Understanding seed aging is crucial to comprehend seed longevity in the field and to design ex situ conservation programs. However, the mechanisms behind seed aging are underexplored. In this paper, Mira et al. assessed the changes in DNA integrity and methylation between aged and non-aged seeds of Mentha aquatica and the seedlings obtained from these […]

Ploidy affects the seed, dormancy and seedling characteristics of a perennial grass, conferring an advantage in stressful climates ($) (Plant Biol.)

Both polyploidy (i.e., having more than two sets of chromosomes) and seed traits influence plant fitness. However, the interaction between these two factors is underexplored. Here, Stevens et al. tested the effect of polyploidy and seed developmental environment on 1) seed viability and mass; 2) seed dormancy; 3) seed germination under drought; and 4) seedling […]

Ecological strategies begin at germination: Traits, plasticity, and survival in the first four days of plant life ($) (Funct. Ecol.)

Seedling establishment is seldom addressed in trait-based ecology. Advocating for the importance of this stage of a plants’ life, Larson et al. assessed how functional traits varied in newly emerged seedlings and how this was related to their phylogeny and survival under drought. The authors germinated seeds of sixteen species of grasses and forbs under […]

The embryo sheath is an anti-adhesive structure that facilitates cotyledon emergence during germination in Arabidopsis ($) (Curr. Biol.)

The embryo sheath is a glycoprotein structure formed during seed maturation in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, its function and its persistence after germination have been uncertain. Here, Doll et al. examined germination and seedling establishment of krs mutants deficient in the KERBEROS peptide that had been previously identified as contributing to embryo sheath formation. By using […]

Evidence for physiological seed dormancy cycling in the woody shrub Asterolasia buxifolia and its ecological significance in fire‐prone systems ($) (Plant Biol.)

Physiologically dormant seeds shift between dormancy (i.e., unable to germinate), conditional dormancy (i.e., germination restricted to a narrow set of conditions), and non-dormancy (i.e., germination under a wide range of conditions) in response to environmental changes. This mechanism –known as dormancy cycling– ensures seeds are non-dormant under favorable germination conditions but become dormant when favorable […]

DRT111/SFPS splicing factor controls ABA sensitivity during seed development and germination (Plant Physiol)

Abscisic acid (ABA) acts on different plant physiological and developmental processes by quite complex mechanisms. In fact, some of these processes interact with light signaling and some are controlled by alternative splicing. In this paper, Punzo et al. show that DRT111 – a splicing factor previously described in photomorphogenesis – regulates seed responses to ABA. […]