Special Issue "The Transition from Seed to Seedling"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Development and Morphogenesis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2022) | Viewed by 4533

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Galina Smolikova
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Saint-Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya nab. 7-9, 199034 Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Interests: seed development; dormancy and germination; photosynthesis in developing seeds; seed desiccation tolerance; seed longevity
Prof. Dr. Sergei Medvedev
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, St. Petersburg State University, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia
Interests: plant development; gravitational biology; plant electrophysiology; polarity; plant hormones; calcium signaling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Seed germination represents a critical stage in plants’ life cycles. This process includes three important events—tissue hydration, the activation of metabolic activity, and the mobilization of reserve nutrients. The resumption of metabolic activity begins with the reactivation of enzymatic systems to repair the damages that inevitably accumulate in DNA, RNA, and proteins. Global metabolic rearrangements occurring in the seeds during germination lead to the initiation of radicle growth. At this moment, seeds lose their tolerance to desiccation and transit to post-germination stage and seedling development.

The resumption of vegetative development requires massive reprogramming of the transcriptome and attendant signaling pathways, resulting in the silencing of seed maturation genes and the activation of vegetative growth genes. The crucial hormonal signal is a balance between abscisic acid and gibberellins, but other hormones such as auxins, brassinosteroids, ethylene, cytokinins, and jasmonates are also involved. A network of transcription factors known as the LAFL as well as DOG1 are the negative regulators of seed germination. They should also be repressed before seedling development. This repression is associated with chromatin remodeling by Polycomb complexes, as well as the PICKLE proteins. Epigenetic modifications, including the methylation of DNA cytosine, histone modifications, and the post-transcriptional downregulation of seed maturation genes with miRNA, need to be discussed.

We invite contributions in the Special Issue from scientists who provide new insight into the mechanisms of genetic, epigenetic, and hormonal switches during the seed-to-seedling transition.

Dr. Galina Smolikova
Prof. Dr. Sergei Medvedev
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • DOG1
  • abscisic acid
  • epigenetic modifications
  • gibberellins
  • LAFL
  • seed desiccation tolerance
  • germination
  • seedling establishment

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Transcripts Expressed during Germination Sensu Stricto Are Associated with Vigor in Soybean Seeds
Plants 2022, 11(10), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11101310 - 14 May 2022
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Abstract
The rapid and uniform establishment of crop plants in the field underpins food security through uniform mechanical crop harvesting. In order to achieve this, seeds with greater vigor should be used. Vigor is a component of physiological quality related to seed resilience. Despite [...] Read more.
The rapid and uniform establishment of crop plants in the field underpins food security through uniform mechanical crop harvesting. In order to achieve this, seeds with greater vigor should be used. Vigor is a component of physiological quality related to seed resilience. Despite this importance, there is little knowledge of the association between events at the molecular level and seed vigor. In this study, we investigated the relationship between gene expression during germination and seed vigor in soybean. The expression level of twenty genes related to growth at the beginning of the germination process was correlated with vigor. In this paper, vigor was evaluated by different tests. Then we reported the identification of the genes Expansin-like A1, Xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase 22, 65-kDa microtubule-associated protein, Xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase 2, N-glycosylase/DNA lyase OGG1 and Cellulose synthase A catalytic subunit 2, which are expressed during germination, that correlated with several vigor tests commonly used in routine analysis of soybean seed quality. The identification of these transcripts provides tools to study vigor in soybean seeds at the molecular level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Transition from Seed to Seedling)
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Article
Characteristics of the Seed Germination and Seedlings of Six Grape Varieties (V. vinifera)
Plants 2022, 11(4), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040479 - 10 Feb 2022
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Abstract
Intraspecific recurrent selection in V. vinifera is an effective method for breeding of high quality, disease-, cold-, and drought-resistance grapes. Exploring the optimal treatment methods for grape (V. vinifera) seeds can help to accelerate the process of intraspecific recurrent selection and [...] Read more.
Intraspecific recurrent selection in V. vinifera is an effective method for breeding of high quality, disease-, cold-, and drought-resistance grapes. Exploring the optimal treatment methods for grape (V. vinifera) seeds can help to accelerate the process of intraspecific recurrent selection and improve breeding efficiency. In this study, seeds of six V. vinifera varieties were used as experimental materials, and the germination and seedling formation characteristics were studied by single factor treatment and orthogonal compound treatment, respectively. To do this, stratification, chemical substances, beak cutting, and pre-germination treatments were tested, and the optimal treatment combination was determined for each variety. The results indicated that the optimal conditions obtained in the orthogonal experiments were not completely consistent with those in the single-factor experiments. Single factor experiment results demonstrated that two stratification methods (chilling gauze-storage and chilling sand-storage) and two pre-germination methods (pre-germination in petri dishes and pre-germination in a bean sprouter) vary in effectiveness for different varieties. gibberellin acid (GA3) soaking and beak-cutting promote the germination and seedling rate of the tested varieties. Orthogonal test results demonstrate that, for Dunkelfelder and Cabernet Sauvignon, the optimal treatment combination was chilling sand-storage + GA3 soaking seed + beak cutting + pre-germination in petri dishes. For Meili, the optimal treatment combination was chilling sand-storage + acetic acid (HAc) soaking seed + beak cutting + pre-germination in petri dishes. For Ecolly, the optimal treatment combination was chilling sand-storage + GA3 soaking seed + beak cutting + pre-germination in a bean sprouter. For Garanior, the optimal treatment combination was chilling sand-storage + HAc soaking seed + no beak cutting + pre-germination in petri dishes. For Marselan, the optimal treatment combination was chilling gauze-storage + GA3 soaking seed + beak cutting + pre-germination in a bean sprouter. This study identified the optimal conditions for seed germination and seedling formation of six grape varieties, which will facilitate future work to characterize the seed germination and seedling formation of seeds obtained by intraspecific hybridization of these varieties. This work also provides a reference for addressing problems of low seed germination rate and suboptimal seedling formation for better utilization of grape germplasms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Transition from Seed to Seedling)
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Article
Acceleration in Germination Sensu stricto Plays a Central Role on Seedling Vigor in Post-Germination
Plants 2021, 10(10), 2151; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10102151 - 11 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 649
Abstract
An obvious relationship between germination sensu stricto and seedling development during post-germination has been considered, but not explained concerning vigor. Taking this into account, we used measurements of water dynamics in germinating seeds and seedling development to clarify that relationship. The biological model [...] Read more.
An obvious relationship between germination sensu stricto and seedling development during post-germination has been considered, but not explained concerning vigor. Taking this into account, we used measurements of water dynamics in germinating seeds and seedling development to clarify that relationship. The biological model was soybean seeds, since it is the most relevant ‘true seed’ produced around world. Our findings suggest that the way energy is used (acceleration) and not its input (velocity) is the main aspect relating seed germination and seedling development, especially when considering vigor. However, velocity and acceleration can be complementary in analyses of seed physiology. Other measurements proposed here also have potential uses for testing vigor in seed lots, such as seedling vigor index and biological activity in the lot. Therefore, water dynamics in germinating seeds can be an interesting way for testing seed lots, because it is an easier, faster and cheaper method in relation to other non-destructive procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Transition from Seed to Seedling)
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Review

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Review
Genetic Aspects and Molecular Causes of Seed Longevity in Plants—A Review
Plants 2022, 11(5), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050598 - 23 Feb 2022
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Abstract
Seed longevity is the most important trait related to the management of gene banks because it governs the regeneration cycle of seeds. Thus, seed longevity is a quantitative trait. Prior to the discovery of molecular markers, classical genetic studies have been performed to [...] Read more.
Seed longevity is the most important trait related to the management of gene banks because it governs the regeneration cycle of seeds. Thus, seed longevity is a quantitative trait. Prior to the discovery of molecular markers, classical genetic studies have been performed to identify the genetic determinants of this trait. Post-2000 saw the use of DNA-based molecular markers and modern biotechnological tools, including RNA sequence (RNA-seq) analysis, to understand the genetic factors determining seed longevity. This review summarizes the most important and relevant genetic studies performed in Arabidopsis (24 reports), rice (25 reports), barley (4 reports), wheat (9 reports), maize (8 reports), soybean (10 reports), tobacco (2 reports), lettuce (1 report) and tomato (3 reports), in chronological order, after discussing some classical studies. The major genes identified and their probable roles, where available, are debated in each case. We conclude by providing information about many different collections of various crops available worldwide for advanced research on seed longevity. Finally, the use of new emerging technologies, including RNA-seq, in seed longevity research is emphasized by providing relevant examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Transition from Seed to Seedling)
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Review
Transition from Seeds to Seedlings: Hormonal and Epigenetic Aspects
Plants 2021, 10(9), 1884; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10091884 - 11 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1408
Abstract
Transition from seed to seedling is one of the critical developmental steps, dramatically affecting plant growth and viability. Before plants enter the vegetative phase of their ontogenesis, massive rearrangements of signaling pathways and switching of gene expression programs are required. This results in [...] Read more.
Transition from seed to seedling is one of the critical developmental steps, dramatically affecting plant growth and viability. Before plants enter the vegetative phase of their ontogenesis, massive rearrangements of signaling pathways and switching of gene expression programs are required. This results in suppression of the genes controlling seed maturation and activation of those involved in regulation of vegetative growth. At the level of hormonal regulation, these events are controlled by the balance of abscisic acid and gibberellins, although ethylene, auxins, brassinosteroids, cytokinins, and jasmonates are also involved. The key players include the members of the LAFL network—the transcription factors LEAFY COTYLEDON1 and 2 (LEC 1 and 2), ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE3 (ABI3), and FUSCA3 (FUS3), as well as DELAY OF GERMINATION1 (DOG1). They are the negative regulators of seed germination and need to be suppressed before seedling development can be initiated. This repressive signal is mediated by chromatin remodeling complexes—POLYCOMB REPRESSIVE COMPLEX 1 and 2 (PRC1 and PRC2), as well as PICKLE (PKL) and PICKLE-RELATED2 (PKR2) proteins. Finally, epigenetic methylation of cytosine residues in DNA, histone post-translational modifications, and post-transcriptional downregulation of seed maturation genes with miRNA are discussed. Here, we summarize recent updates in the study of hormonal and epigenetic switches involved in regulation of the transition from seed germination to the post-germination stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Transition from Seed to Seedling)
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