To Germinate, or Not to Germinate, that is the Question
News Jun 11, 2013
Timing of seed germination is crucial for survival of plants in the wild and is also important for commercial seed production where there is a need to ensure uniform growth.
A cold environment can signal an imminent winter so the mother plant produces dormant seeds that will not grow until the following spring. A warmer environment can signal an early summer with the mother plant producing seeds that grow immediately allowing another generation to grow before winter.
Researchers at the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) in the Department of Biology at York have found that a regulator gene called SPATULA can control the expression of five other regulatory genes that are known to effect when a seed germinates. The research, which was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Garfield Weston Foundation, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS).
The CNAP research group, led by Professor Ian Graham, used the model oilseed plant called Arabidopsis to gain new insights into how the gene networks operate. They found that different varieties of Arabidopsis respond differently when this network of regulatory genes is disturbed. Some become more dormant and others less reflecting the different environmental responses of varieties that have evolved in different parts of the world.
Professor Graham says: 'Plants are clever in many ways. The complexity of the gene toolkit controlling seed germination is quite remarkable. During seed set, plants are able to respond to a variety of environmental signals from temperature to day-length, light quality and nutrient availability'.
"Discoveries such as this should underpin the development of better quality seeds for farmers. Since seed dormancy is one of the first traits to be addressed when domesticating a crop, the work should also aid in the rapid domestication of wild species into novel crops for a range of different applications."
Fabric Genomics Partners to Improve Pediatric CareNews
Partnerships with Genomics England, Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine, and The Utah Genome Project demonstrate diagnostic utility of Fabric Genomics' algorithm-based genome analysis.READ MORE
Edico Genome and Fabric Genomics Develop Integrated Solution for Genomics AnalysisNews
Industry leaders partner to provide streamlined variant data analysis solution, with the goal of improving clinical care.READ MORE
Genomics Researchers Showcase their Applications of Droplet Digital PCR at ASHG 2017 Annual MeetingNews
The sensitivity and reliability of Droplet Digital PCR will be showcased in over a dozen presentations at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2017 Annual Meeting.READ MORE
Comments | 0 ADD COMMENT
Annual Conference on Antimicrobials and Drug Resistance
Sep 24 - Sep 25, 2018