Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To germinate, or not to germinate, that is the question…

Date:
June 10, 2013
Source:
University of York
Summary:
Scientists have uncovered new insights into the way seeds use gene networks to control when they germinate in response to environmental signals.

Impatiens balsamina after germination.
Credit: © brozova / Fotolia

Scientists at the University of York have uncovered new insights into the way seeds use gene networks to control when they germinate in response to environmental signals.

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.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Fabián E. Vaistij, Yinbo Gan, Steven Penfield, Alison D. Gilday, Anuja Dave, Zhesi He, Eve-Marie Josse, Giltsu Choi, Karen J. Halliday, and Ian A. Graham. Differential control of seed primary dormancy in Arabidopsis ecotypes by the transcription factor SPATULA. PNAS, June 10, 2013 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1301647110

Cite This Page:

University of York. "To germinate, or not to germinate, that is the question…." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130610152046.htm>.
University of York. (2013, June 10). To germinate, or not to germinate, that is the question…. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130610152046.htm
University of York. "To germinate, or not to germinate, that is the question…." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130610152046.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins