Molecular genetic control of seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana
Land plants' success to colonize different continental environments lies in part in their ability to produce seeds: structures encapsulating plant embryos, keeping them in an inert and osmotolerant state. The first step towards the adult phase of the plant is that of seed germination, a process whereby the embryo develops into a photosynthetic young seedling.
Since the embryo abandons a highly protected state, it is not surprising that germination is controlled by the environmental conditions faced by the seed. Thus, germination responds to the quality of light (e.g. favorable sun light vs unfavorable canopy light) or water (e.g. fresh vs salty water). Environmental cues determine the levels of the phytohormones gibberrellic acid (GA) and abscisic acid (ABA). GA is necessary to initiate germination by promoting the destruction of germination repressors; the DELLA factors RGL2, GAI and RGA. ABA is synthesized upon osmotic stress and blocks germination by inducing the expression of germination repressors; the transcription factors ABI3 and ABI5.
Our work mainly focuses on understanding how GA- and ABA-dependent control of seed germination is coordinated in response to environmental cues.
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- Hormone signaling (Abscisic Acid, Gibberellic Acid)
- Biosynthesis and action of the plant hormones Absicisic acid and Gibberellins
- Phytochromes, light responses
- Plant Developmental Genetics
- Chemical signaling in plants
- Embryogenesis, seed maturation
- Plant responses to environmental signals
- Auxin, ethylene and brassinosteroid signaling