Recent Posts

Mechanism and function of root circumnutation (PNAS)

This is an engrossing paper. The authors start off with a simple mutant screen for abnormal root growth in rice seedlings, through which they identified three “long root” mutant alleles of a rice mutant in a gene encoding a histidine kinase, HK1. Careful analysis showed that the mutant roots fail…

Evolution and ecology of seed internal morphology in relation to germination characteristics in Amaranthaceae ($) (Ann. Bot.)

Seed germination, a critical life stage in a plant's life cycle, can be affected by internal seed morphology. In this exciting research, Vandelook and colleagues investigated the evolution of embryo and nutritive tissue characteristics and their relationship with the germination traits of 84 species…

Seed enhancement technologies to improve germination and emergence of Australian native Poaceae (Seed Sci. Res.)

One of the most significant limitations in seed-based restoration projects is that some native species exhibit low recruitment in the field. As a result, various seed enhancement technologies (SETs) are being developed to improve germination and seedling emergence by facilitating access to nutrients…

The peroxisome just updated its profile picture (Nature Comms.)

The ability to utilize stored energy is crucial for organism growth and development. For example, seed storage lipids go through hydrolysis and beta-oxidation to provide energy for seed germination. In this process, beta-oxidation occurs in the peroxisome, a subcellular compartment that houses many…

Combinations of maternal-specific repressive epigenetic marks in the endosperm control seed dormancy (bioRxiv.)

H3K27me3 [K27 (Lysine 27) trimethylation on histone H3] and H3K9me2 are two epigenetic modifications that repress gene activity in plants. While they are typically present in different genomic regions, both marks are found in the seed endosperm. Here, Sato and colleagues show that this histone modification…

Coleorhiza‐enforced seed dormancy: a novel mechanism to control germination in grasses (New Phytol.)

The germination process is completed when the radicle emerges from the seed. In eudicots, radicle growth is mechanically limited by the micropylar endosperm. As dormancy is broken and imbibition occurs, this structure is weakened so that radicle can pierce it. In grasses, the radicle is not surrounded…

Hydration-dependent phase separation of a prion-like protein regulates seed germination during water stress (bioRxiv)

Plant seeds can remain dormant for several years under stress conditions and subsequently germinate once favorable conditions return. Even though this phenomenon has been known for many years, what keeps the seed from germinating during the unfavorable conditions, especially during water deficit conditions,…

Epicotyl morphophysiological dormancy and storage behaviour of seeds of Strychnos ($) (Seed Sci. Res.)

Seed dormancy and desiccation tolerance impact on germination timing and soil seed bank formation. Here, Muthuthanthirige et al. conducted a thorough series of experiments and anatomical observations to determine the dormancy class and desiccation tolerance of three Strychnos (Loganiacae) species:…

SMAX1-dependent seed germination bypasses GA signalling in Arabidopsis and Striga (Nature Plants)

Strigolactones (SL) are germination cues for parasitic plants, as their seeds will not germinate until they perceive SL exuded from the host plant.  In contrast, gibberellins (GA) are the dominant germination hormone in non-parasitic plants; GA-mediated degradation of DELLA repressors permits germination.…