Production environment and seed quality

The aim of this project is to assess the influence of the maternal environment (growth conditions) on seed quality, on gene (co)expression and metabolite profiles (including plant hormones) using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We expect to clarify the influence of the environment on a number of independent pathways which are involved in the regulation of seed quality traits in Arabidopsis using highly advanced genetic materials. Cross species validity of seed quality genes will be examined by using the synteny of Arabidopsis with tomato. On a short term the identified genes may be used as tools to monitor seed quality or as molecular markers to assist in breeding programs. On a longer term this study may lead to the development of a model to predict seed quality from the prevailing seed production conditions.