Seed dormancy and germination - emerging mechanisms and new hypotheses Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/cn69m5825

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  • Seed dormancy has played a significant role in adaptation and evolution of seed plants. While its biological significance is clear, molecular mechanisms underlying seed dormancy induction, maintenance and alleviation still remain elusive. Intensive efforts have been made to investigate gibberellin and abscisic acid metabolism in seeds, which greatly contributed to the current understanding of seed dormancy mechanisms. Other mechanisms, which might be independent of hormones, or specific to the seed dormancy pathway, are also emerging from genetic analysis of “seed dormancy mutants.” These studies suggest that chromatin remodeling through histone ubiquitination, methylation and acetylation, which could lead to transcription elongation or gene silencing, may play a significant role in seed dormancy regulation. Small interfering RNA and/or long non-coding RNA might be a trigger of epigenetic changes at the seed dormancy or germination loci, such as DELAY OF GERMINATION1. While new mechanisms are emerging from genetic studies of seed dormancy, novel hypotheses are also generated from seed germination studies with high throughput gene expression analysis. Recent studies on tissue-specific gene expression in tomato and Arabidopsis seeds, which suggested possible “mechanosensing” in the regulatory mechanisms, advanced our understanding of embryo-endosperm interaction and have potential to re-draw the traditional hypotheses or integrate them into a comprehensive scheme. The progress in basic seed science will enable knowledge translation, another frontier of research to be expanded for food and fuel production.
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  • Nonogaki, H. (2014). Seed dormancy and germination—emerging mechanisms and new hypotheses. Frontiers in Plant Science, 5, 233. doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00233
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