Dissecting the seed-to-seedling transition in Arabidopsis thaliana by gene co-expression networks

During his PhD, Anderson Tadeu Silva has studied the seed-to-seedling transition and the implication of desiccation tolerance during this transition. It is advantageous for a species to keep the period of seedling establishment as short as possible since young seedlings are highly sensitive to biotic and abiotic stresses, since they have lost the extreme stress tolerance that seeds have, to for example desiccation, upon germination. In this PhD a dedicated signal transduction pathways that regulate seedling establishment were identified by gene co-expression networks and validated with mutant analysis. Additionally, outcomes of this thesis suggests that the re-establishment of desiccation tolerance during the seed-to-seedling transition is controlled by crosstalk between ABA-dependent and ABA-independent pathways. Finally, new possibilities are addressed for further use of the data sets to delineate the mechanisms underlying the seed-to-seedling transition and desiccation tolerance.