The role of the oxylipin OPDA in the seasonal sensitivity of seed dormancy

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office


This project aims to understand the role of the mother plant in using environmental signals to control offspring behaviour. We have found that the mother plant can sense the temperature of the environment and use the information to control the germination frequency of her offspring seed. Intriguingly, we found that the mother uses not just current temperature information but also past temperature information to control progeny germination. We also have preliminary evidence that these temperature signalling are carried by the same genes that also control flowering time. We aim to understand the role of ‘flowering time’ control genes in the maternal temperature-control of seed germination and to elucidate the mechanism through which they affect seed germination rates. For this we will test two competing hypotheses: firstly that they control the levels of plant hormones that are known to play important roles in germination regulation, and secondly that they affect the development of maternal tissues of the seed, particularly the seed coat, in such a way that modifies germination behaviour.


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