The role of seed stored mRNAs and translation in the control of seed dormancy

Seed dormancy is regulated by distinct genetic and molecular pathways. These pathways regulate expression of specific gene sets including genes that are involved in mRNA translation. Seed mRNAs are produced during seed development, retain their functions during the dry storage, and are translated during the early phases of imbibition. The importance of these mRNAs is demonstrated by the absolute requirement of translation for germination while transcription can be inhibited without affecting germination. We propose to follow the translational specificity of stored mRNAs during seed development and germination in order to understand the specific role of these mRNAs during dormancy release. The proposed research is based on the recently developed translatomics technology, which allows the efficient isolation of ribosome-associated mRNAs. Comparison between the ribosomal associated and total mRNA populations in seeds will reveal the contribution of translation in the regulation of protein levels. Three major research questions will be addressed

1)        How does the translational dynamics of stored mRNAs vary during seed maturation?
2)        Does selective mRNA translation control seed dormancy?
3)       Can cell type specific translatomes be identified in dry seeds and what is the relation to dormancy establishment?