Recent Posts

A teosinte gene enhances seed protein content in maize

Increasing nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) and seed protein content are important for maize breeding. Modern maize hybrids have 6.5-16.5% seed protein content, while the wild ancestor of maize, called teosinte, has ~30% seed protein content. In addition, teosinte (accession Ames 21814) contains notably…

Simulated climate warming decreases fruit number but increases seed mass

There is a growing number of studies showing the effects of rising temperatures on different aspects of plant life cycles and ecological dynamics. However, little is known about how a warmer world would affect plants' reproductive performance; in other words, how many resources they invest in reproduction…

Hybrid-derived weedy rice maintains adaptive combinations of alleles associated with seed dormancy (Mol. Ecol.)

The cross between genetically distant parents is an essential source of genetic variation. This process, known as hybridization, might result in the loss of adaptive gene combinations due to the introduction of non-adaptive alleles. However, Imaizumi and colleagues show this is not the case with weedy…

Two decades of climate change alters seed longevity in an alpine herb (Alp. Res.)

Alpine ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change since they are experiencing swift temperature increases and rainfall reduction. These changes have been shown to affect different aspects of plant life history, such as phenology and germination. In this exciting research, White and colleagues…

Seed microbiota revealed by a large-scale meta-analysis including 50 plant species (New Phytol)

The study of seed microbiota is rapidly getting attention among plant scientists, given its role in modulating seed germination and plant fitness. Here, Simonin and colleagues synthesize the information from 63 studies and provide a thorough overview of this topic's current state of the art. The authors…

Climate shapes the seed germination niche of temperate flowering plants: a meta-analysis of European seed conservation data (Ann. Bot.)

The seed germination niche is the set of environmental conditions in which a seed can germinate. This collection of requirements is expected to be tuned to the climate each species encounters in its natural habitat, but this hypothesis remains to be formally tested. Here, Carta and colleagues make use…

Seed dormancy in space and time: global distribution, paleo- and present climatic drivers and evolutionary adaptations ($) (New Phytol.)

Seed dormancy is widely recognized as a key mechanism to ensure that germination takes place under the most suitable conditions. Such is its importance that multiple studies have described the morphological, physiological, and genetic mechanisms behind it, yet its global distribution and the past and…

The MIEL1-ABI5/MYB30 regulatory module fine tunes abscisic acid signaling during seed germination (JIPB)

Abscisic acid (ABA) is a phytohormone that plays a crucial role in the inhibition of seed germination, and the transcription factor ABI5 is the final and common downstream factor that represses germination. Many proteins are known to inhibit ABI5, such as the mediator complex subunit MED25 or other transcription…

Review: Embryo-endosperm interactions ($) (Annu Rev Plant Biol)

Angiosperm seed formation is an incredibly complex process, considering that it requires coordinating the development of three distinct structures –the embryo, the endosperm and the seed coat– in a small space. However, Doll and Ingram show us that angiosperms faced this challenge by evolving a complex…