The mechanism and control of desiccation tolerance in seeds

Desiccation tolerance is one of the most outstanding features found in the plant kingdom. Seeds that possess such attribute, the so-called orthodox seeds, can be dried and stored for many years without significant loss of viability. Seeds that lack this characteristic, the so-called recalcitrant seeds, represent a big challenge for those who need to keep them in seed banks for germplasm conservation purposes.

In order to gain insight into the theme, we combined evolutionary, physiological and molecular aspects of desiccation tolerance in seeds and resurrection plants.

Our approach:

In seeds we investigate how desiccation tolerance acquisition during seed development and loss during seed germination is regulated at the transcriptome and translatome level. We combine this information with available 'omics' data of seeds and resurrections plants to identify the origin, evolution and function of desiccation tolerance-related genes.