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Selected topics on the control of seed germination: light, temperature and dormancy

English title Selected topics on the control of seed germination: light, temperature and dormancy
Applicant Lopez-Molina Luis
Number 152660
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Département de Biologie Végétale Faculté des Sciences Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Molecular Biology
Start/End 01.01.2015 - 31.03.2019
Approved amount 600'000.00
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Keywords (8)

Gibberellic acid (GA); Seed thermoinhibition; PIFs; Phytochromes; DELLA factors; Seed germination; Abscisic acid (ABA); Arabidopsis

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Seeds are a remarkable innovation of land plant’s evolution consisting of protected and metabolically inert capsules that transform plants into time and space travelers. When seeds germinate the plant abandons the protected state of the seed in favor of the much more fragile young seedling state. Unsurprisingly, germination control mechanisms have appeared during evolution that block or allow germination depending on the environment faced by the seed. The long-term goal of our laboratory is to understand how seed germination is controlled. Seed germination is a fundamental developmental process in plants. Yet this area of plant biology remains poorly understood and it is not very much studied in Switzerland. Understanding how germination is controlled in response to environmental cues such as light and temperature has potential applications in agriculture and should also contribute to understand the ecological consequences of global warming on plant species distribution.
Lay summary

Au cours des dernières périodes de recherche soutenues par le FNRS, nous avons identifié des composants essentiels permettant le contrôle de la germination des graines chez Arabidopsis thaliana : 1) la voie de signalisation de l’acide abscissique (ABA) et le contrôle de la biosynthèse de l’ABA par les facteurs DELLA, spécifiques aux plantes ; 2) l’endosperme, un tissu triploïde, caractéristique des plantes à fleur, entourant l’embryon. L’endosperme peut relâcher de l’ABA de façon constitutive dans les graines dormantes mais aussi dans les graines post-dormantes en réponse aux paramètres physiques de l’environnement (e.g. lumière enrichie en rouge lointain).

Nos projets visent à explorer plus en profondeur le rôle de l’endosperme dans le contrôle de la germination par 1) la lumière, 2) la haute température et 3) l’origine parentale.

  1. Ce projet cherche à mieux comprendre comment l’endosperme et l’ABA interfèrent avec la voie de signalisation des phytochromes A (phyA) et B (phyB) en réponse à des signaux lumineux.
  2. La haute température bloque la germination et nos études récentes indiquent que cela implique l’endosperme. Ce projet explore les mécanismes de signalisation permettant l’arrêt de la germination en réponse à de hautes températures.
  3. Ce projet explore comment la triploïdie et l’origine parentale (écotype) influencent la germination et son contrôle. 

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 15.10.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
The Arabidopsis mature endosperm promotes seedling cuticle formation via release of sulfated peptides
De Giorgi Julien, Fuchs Christelle, Iwasaki Mayumi, Kim Woohyun, Piskurewicz Urszula, Gully Kay, Utz-Pugin Anne, Mène-Saffrané Laurent, Waridel Patrice, Nawrath Christiane, Longoni Fiamma Paolo, Fujita Satoshi, Loubéry Sylvain, Lopez-Molina Luis (2021), The Arabidopsis mature endosperm promotes seedling cuticle formation via release of sulfated peptides, in Developmental Cell, 56(22), 3066-3081.e5.
Identification of tannic cell walls at the outer surface of the endosperm upon Arabidopsis seed coat rupture
Demonsais Lara, Utz‐Pugin Anne, Loubéry Sylvain, Lopez‐Molina Luis (2020), Identification of tannic cell walls at the outer surface of the endosperm upon Arabidopsis seed coat rupture, in The Plant Journal, 104(3), 567-580.
Embryonic Photosynthesis Affects Post-Germination Plant Growth
Sela Ayala, Piskurewicz Urszula, Megies Christian, Mène-Saffrané Laurent, Finazzi Giovanni, Lopez-Molina Luis (2020), Embryonic Photosynthesis Affects Post-Germination Plant Growth, in Plant Physiology, 182(4), 2166-2181.
polyamine uptake transporter 2 (put2) and decaying seeds enhance phyA-mediated germination by overcoming PIF1 repression of germination
Kim Woohyun, Zeljković Sanja Ćavar, Piskurewicz Urszula, Megies Christian, Tarkowski Petr, Lopez-Molina Luis (2019), polyamine uptake transporter 2 (put2) and decaying seeds enhance phyA-mediated germination by overcoming PIF1 repression of germination, in PLOS Genetics, 15(7), e1008292-e1008292.
Non-canonical RNA-directed DNA methylation participates in maternal and environmental control of seed dormancy
Iwasaki Mayumi, Hyvärinen Lena, Piskurewicz Urszula, Lopez-Molina Luis (2019), Non-canonical RNA-directed DNA methylation participates in maternal and environmental control of seed dormancy, in eLife, 8, 1-17.
ICE 1 and ZOU determine the depth of primary seed dormancy in Arabidopsis independently of their role in endosperm development
MacGregor Dana R., Zhang Naichao, Iwasaki Mayumi, Chen Min, Dave Anuja, Lopez‐Molina Luis, Penfield Steven (2019), ICE 1 and ZOU determine the depth of primary seed dormancy in Arabidopsis independently of their role in endosperm development, in The Plant Journal, 98(2), 277-290.
The plant pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa triggers a DELLA-dependent seed germination arrest in Arabidopsis
Chahtane Hicham, Nogueira Füller Thanise, Allard Pierre-Marie, Marcourt Laurence, Ferreira Queiroz Emerson, Shanmugabalaji Venkatasalam, Falquet Jacques, Wolfender Jean-Luc, Lopez-Molina Luis (2018), The plant pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa triggers a DELLA-dependent seed germination arrest in Arabidopsis, in eLife, 7, 1-34.
Chloroplast Biogenesis Controlled by DELLA-TOC159 Interaction in Early Plant Development
Shanmugabalaji Venkatasalam, Chahtane Hicham, Accossato Sonia, Rahire Michèle, Gouzerh Guillaume, Lopez-Molina Luis, Kessler Felix (2018), Chloroplast Biogenesis Controlled by DELLA-TOC159 Interaction in Early Plant Development, in Current Biology, 28(16), 2616-2623.e5.
A Maternally Deposited Endosperm Cuticle Contributes to the Physiological Defects of transparent testa Seeds
Loubéry Sylvain, De Giorgi Julien, Utz-Pugin Anne, Demonsais Lara, Lopez-Molina Luis (2018), A Maternally Deposited Endosperm Cuticle Contributes to the Physiological Defects of transparent testa Seeds, in Plant Physiology, 177(3), 1218-1233.
Dormancy-specific imprinting underlies maternal inheritance of seed dormancy in Arabidopsis thaliana
Piskurewicz Urszula, Iwasaki Mayumi, Susaki Daichi, Megies Christian, Kinoshita Tetsu, Lopez-Molina Luis (2016), Dormancy-specific imprinting underlies maternal inheritance of seed dormancy in Arabidopsis thaliana, in eLife, 5, 1-23.
Primary seed dormancy: a temporally multilayered riddle waiting to be unlocked
Chahtane Hicham, Kim Woohyun, Lopez-Molina Luis (2016), Primary seed dormancy: a temporally multilayered riddle waiting to be unlocked, in Journal of Experimental Botany, erw377-erw377.
Primary seed dormancy: a temporally multilayered riddle waiting to be unlocked
Chahtane Hicham, Kim Woohyun, Lopez-Molina Luis (2016), Primary seed dormancy: a temporally multilayered riddle waiting to be unlocked, in Journal of Experimental Botany, erw377-erw377.
Environmental Responses in Plants
Piskurewicz Urszula, Lopez-Molina Luis (2016), Environmental Responses in Plants, Springer New York, New York, NY.
An Endosperm-Associated Cuticle Is Required for Arabidopsis Seed Viability, Dormancy and Early Control of Germination
De Giorgi Julien, Piskurewicz Urszula, Loubery Sylvain, Utz-Pugin Anne, Bailly Christophe, Mène-Saffrané Laurent, Lopez-Molina Luis (2015), An Endosperm-Associated Cuticle Is Required for Arabidopsis Seed Viability, Dormancy and Early Control of Germination, in PLOS Genetics, 11(12), e1005708-e1005708.
Abscisic acid transporters cooperate to control seed germination
Kang Joohyun, Yim Sojeong, Choi Hyunju, Kim Areum, Lee Keun Pyo, Lopez-Molina Luis, Martinoia Enrico, Lee Youngsook (2015), Abscisic acid transporters cooperate to control seed germination, in Nature Communications, 6(1), 8113-8113.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Tetsu Kinoshita (KIBR, Yokohama) Japan (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Petr Tarkowski/Palacký University Czech Republic (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Felix Kessler/University of Neuchâtel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Seminar invitation Individual talk Parental and environmental control of seed dormancy 01.02.2018 Vienna (GMI), Austria Lopez-Molina Luis;
International Symposium on Plant Photobiology, 2018 Talk given at a conference The Arabidopsis seed endosperm promotes seedling skotomorphogenesis 15.01.2018 Matsue, Japan Lopez-Molina Luis;
International Symposium on Plant Photobiology, 2018 Poster Phytochrome signaling promotes seed germination by enhancing polyamine (PA) biosynthesis in Arabidopsis 15.01.2018 Matsue, Japan Kim Woohyun;
Triennial International Society for Seed Science (ISSS) 2017 Talk given at a conference Parental and environmental control of seed dormancy 10.09.2017 Monterey, California, United States of America Lopez-Molina Luis;
Workshop "Seeds, stress and environment" Talk given at a conference Parental and environmental control of seed dormancy 08.07.2017 Angers, France Lopez-Molina Luis;
Seminar invitation Individual talk Parental and environmental control of seed dormancy 02.07.2017 Yokohama (RIKEN), Japan Lopez-Molina Luis;
Seminar invitation Individual talk The Arabidopsis endosperm: a companion tissue controlling germination and remembering the past 01.07.2017 Yokohama (KIBR), Japan Lopez-Molina Luis;
Seminar invitation Individual talk Parental and environmental control of seed dormancy 09.03.2017 Zurich, Switzerland Lopez-Molina Luis;
Seminar invitation Individual talk Parental and environmental control of seed dormancy 01.03.2017 Norwich, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Lopez-Molina Luis;
Society for Experimental Biology’s (SEB) Main Meeting Talk given at a conference Parental control of seed germination 04.07.2016 Brighton, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Lopez-Molina Luis;
International Plant Molecular Biology 2015 Talk given at a conference Endospermic genomic imprinting in Arabidopsis mature seeds and parental control of seed germination 25.10.2015 Iguazu, Brazil Lopez-Molina Luis;
Seminar invitation Individual talk Control of seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana 17.07.2015 Nagoya, Japan Lopez-Molina Luis;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Campus Junior Poster 01.12.2018 Geneva, Switzerland Lopez-Molina Luis;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Seeds inherit memories from their mother UNIGE International Western Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television De graine à plante: une course contre la montre RTS Western Switzerland 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Lorsque la graine devient plante, elle a 48 heures pour survivre UNIGE International Western Switzerland 2018

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
132591 The Role of RGL2 and the Seed Coat in Arabidopsis Seed Dormancy 01.01.2011 Project funding
179472 Parental and environmental control of seed dormancy; Control of seed germination by biotic factors 01.04.2019 Project funding
164095 NMR 600MHz for metabolomics and biomarker identification for life sciences, chemical biology and medical projects at the University of Geneva 01.01.2016 R'EQUIP

Abstract

Seeds are a remarkable innovation of land plants’ evolution consisting of protected capsules where plant embryonic structures are stored in a metabolically inert state. Seeds transform plants into time and space travelers allowing their colonization of new habitats. However, the plant must eventually abandon the seed state in order to pursue its life cycle. This developmental transition taking an embryo to a young seedling is called germination. Since a young seedling may face a potentially fatal hostile environment, it is unsurprising that germination control mechanisms have also appeared during evolution. Here we propose to study some of these control mechanisms in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.The Arabidopsis seed consist of an outer layer of dead tissue, the testa, underneath which lies a single-cell layer of triploid endosperm surrounding the diploid embryo. We recently underlined the importance of the endosperm to control seed germination. In particular, we developed a “seed coat bedding assay” allowing studying how the growth of dissected embryos is affected by an underlying layer of seed coats. The assay allows the combinatorial use of seed coat and embryonic material of various ecotype and genetic origins. We reported that in the endosperm, the growth hormone gibberellin (GA)-response DELLA factors control the production and release of the stress hormone abscisic acid (ABA) to block embryonic growth, and thus germination. The endosperm can constitutively release ABA to prevent germination in freshly produced seeds (a trait called dormancy) but also act as a light “sensor” once seeds have lost dormancy. This involves in particular the light photoreceptors phytochromes A (phyA) and B (phyB).Project 1: Control of seed germination by light. We propose to further study the light signaling pathways operating in the endosperm and the embryo for the control of seed germination in the canopy (enriched in far red light). In particular, we are interested in understanding how endospermic ABA overrides phyA signaling by examining in detail basic features of phyA signaling in response to ABA (e.g. phyA nuclear translocation, phyA-dependent degradation of phytochrome-interacting factor 1 (PIF1) etc.).Project 2: Control of seed germination by high temperature. We provide preliminary observations indicating that the endosperm senses high temperature and releases ABA in a DELLA-dependent manner to block germination, a response called seed thermoinhibition. Surprisingly, this also appears to involve overriding phytochrome signaling responses since we show that seed thermoinhibition is under the control of phytochrome-interacting factor 3 (PIF3), a negative regulator of phytochrome signaling. We propose explorations to understand how high temperature and ABA specifically recruit PIF3 to override phytochrome signaling in the context of seed thermoinhibition. We believe that projects 1 and 2 are two case studies that should allow us to better understand how the stress hormone ABA, high temperatures and light pathways interfere with each other to control and essential developmental transition such as germination.Project 3: Endospermic dormancy pathways. We propose a whole-genome transcriptomic approach to identify the components of the endospermic signaling pathways controlling seed dormancy. To this end, we consider the case where the endosperm implements the changes in dormancy observed after the mother plant experiences temperature changes during seed maturation and the case of F1 seeds inheriting, from parents of different ecotypes, different levels of dormancy.
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