Recent Posts

Expression analyses in Ginkgo biloba provide new insights into the evolution and development of the seed (Sci. Reports)

Seed production was a decisive adaptation that appeared during plant evolution. Not in vain! The most diverse plant lineage today is that of the so-called seed plants, a group that includes gymnosperms and angiosperms. Therefore, it is not surprising that understanding seed origin and evolution has been…

Many roads to success: different combinations of life-history traits provide accurate germination timing in seasonally dry environments ($) (Oiokos)

Ensuring that seeds germinate in the most suitable conditions for seedling establishment is critical for plant fitness, especially in environments where water is not readily available all year. Seed dormancy is considered to be the primary mechanism to achieve this. Still, many other different life-history…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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)–…

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…

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…