Molecular Mechanism of Seed Germination under Different Environment Conditions

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2022) | Viewed by 18201

Special Issue Editors

Center for Seed Science and Technology, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
Interests: maize seed biology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Seeds are one of the basic resources for agricultural production, whose germination begins with imbibition and ends with radicle emergence. Successful germination with rapid and uniform seedling establishment is important for crop yield. Numerous studies have shed light on the molecular and physiological basis regulating seed germination in Arabidopsis and some crops. However, environments in the field are totally different from those in controlled lab conditions, as fields are coupled with multiple abiotic and biotic stresses. Knowledge about the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying the environmental effects on germination has been lacking. The main purpose of this Special Issue, entitled “Molecular Mechanism of Seed Germination under Different Environmental Conditions”, is to compile the most recent discoveries on seed physiology, genetics, biochemistry and omics in response to biotic and abiotic stresses, with the aim of promoting research in the field of seed germination. We welcome original research papers, perspectives, opinions and reviews focused on this domain area.

Dr. Riliang Gu
Dr. Zhoufei Wang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • seed germination
  • molecular mechanism
  • environmental stress
  • crops

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 3102 KiB  
Communication
Dynamic RNA-Seq Study Reveals the Potential Regulators of Seed Germination in Paris polyphylla var. yunnanensis
Plants 2022, 11(18), 2400; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11182400 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1172
Abstract
Paris polyphylla var. yunnanensis is an important traditional Chinese medicine, but poor seed germination limits its large-scale artificial cultivation. Thus, it is crucial to understand the regulators of seed germination to obtain clues about how to improve the artificial cultivation of Paris polyphylla [...] Read more.
Paris polyphylla var. yunnanensis is an important traditional Chinese medicine, but poor seed germination limits its large-scale artificial cultivation. Thus, it is crucial to understand the regulators of seed germination to obtain clues about how to improve the artificial cultivation of Paris polyphylla. In this study, the seeds at three germination stages, including ungerminated seeds (stage 1), germinated seeds with a 0.5 cm radicel length (stage 2), and germinated seeds with a 2.0 cm radicel length (stage 3) after warm stratification (20 °C) for 90 days were used for RNA sequencing. Approximately 220 million clean reads and 447,314 annotated unigenes were obtained during seed germination, of which a total of 4454, 5150, and 1770 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified at stage 1 to stage 2, stage 1 to stage 3, and stage 2 to stage 3, respectively. Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis revealed that the DEGs were significantly enriched in carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism, signal transduction, and translation. Of them, several genes encoding the glutamate decarboxylase, glutamine synthetase, alpha-galactosidase, auxin-responsive protein IAA30, abscisic-acid-responsive element binding factor, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 9/18, and small and large subunit ribosomal proteins were identified as potentially involved in seed germination. The identified genes provide a valuable resource to study the molecular basis of seed germination in Paris polyphylla var. yunnanensis. Full article
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19 pages, 4512 KiB  
Article
The Copper Chaperone Protein Gene GmATX1 Promotes Seed Vigor and Seedling Tolerance under Heavy Metal and High Temperature and Humidity Stresses in Transgenic Arabidopsis
Plants 2022, 11(10), 1325; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11101325 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1487
Abstract
Abiotic stresses such as high temperature, high humidity, and heavy metals are important factors that affect seed development and quality, and restrict yield in soybean. The ATX1-type copper chaperones are an important type of proteins that are used for maintaining intracellular copper ion [...] Read more.
Abiotic stresses such as high temperature, high humidity, and heavy metals are important factors that affect seed development and quality, and restrict yield in soybean. The ATX1-type copper chaperones are an important type of proteins that are used for maintaining intracellular copper ion homeostasis. In our previous study, a copper chaperone protein GmATX1 was identified in developing seeds of soybean under high temperature and humidity (HTH) stresses. In this study, the GmATX1 gene was isolated, and multiple alignment analysis showed that its encoding protein shared high sequence identities with other plant orthologues of copper chaperone proteins containing the HMA domain, and a conserved metal ion-binding site, CXXC. A subcellular localization assay indicated that GmATX1 was localized in the cell membrane and nucleus. An expression analysis indicated that GmATX1 was involved in seed development, and in response to HTH and heavy metal stresses in soybean. GmATX1-silent soybean seedlings were found to be more severely damaged than the control under HTH stress. Moreover, the silencing of GmATX1 reduced antioxidase activity and reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging ability in the seedling leaves. The overexpression of GmATX1 in Arabidopsis improved seed vigor and seedling tolerance, and enhanced antioxidase activity and ROS scavenging ability under HTH and heavy metal stresses. Our results indicated that GmATX1 could promote seed vigor and seedling tolerance to HTH and heavy metal stresses in transgenic Arabidopsis, and this promotion could be achieved by enhancing the antioxidase activity and ROS scavenging ability. Full article
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17 pages, 4593 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic and Metabolic Profiling Reveals a Lignin Metabolism Network Involved in Mesocotyl Elongation during Maize Seed Germination
Plants 2022, 11(8), 1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11081034 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1825
Abstract
Lignin is an important factor affecting agricultural traits. The mechanism of lignin metabolism in maize (Zea mays) mesocotyl elongation was investigated during seed germination. Maize seeds were treated with 24-epibrassinolide (EBR) and brassinazole stimulation under 3 and 20 cm deep-seeding [...] Read more.
Lignin is an important factor affecting agricultural traits. The mechanism of lignin metabolism in maize (Zea mays) mesocotyl elongation was investigated during seed germination. Maize seeds were treated with 24-epibrassinolide (EBR) and brassinazole stimulation under 3 and 20 cm deep-seeding stress. Mesocotyl transcriptome sequencing together with targeted metabolomics analysis and physiological measurements were employed in two contrasting genotypes. Our results revealed differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were significantly enriched in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, plant hormone signal transduction, flavonoid biosynthesis, and alpha-linolenic acid metabolism. There were 153 DEGs for lignin biosynthesis pathway, 70 DEGs for peroxisome pathway, and 325 differentially expressed transcription factors (TFs) of MYB, NAC, WRKY, and LIM were identified in all comparisons, and highly interconnected network maps were generated among multiple TFs (MYB and WRKY) and DEGs for lignin biosynthesis and peroxisome biogenesis. This caused p-coumaraldehyde, p-coumaryl alcohol, and sinapaldehyde down-accumulation, however, caffeyl aldehyde and caffeyl alcohol up-accumulation. The sum/ratios of H-, S-, and G-lignin monomers was also altered, which decreased total lignin formation and accumulation, resulting in cell wall rigidity decreasing. As a result, a significant elongation of maize mesocotyl was detected under deep-seeding stress and EBR signaling. These findings provide information on the molecular mechanisms controlling maize seedling emergence under deep-seeding stress and will aid in the breeding of deep-seeding maize cultivars. Full article
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16 pages, 3289 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis of Near-Isogenic Lines Provides Novel Insights into Genes Associated with Seed Low-Temperature Germination Ability in Maize (Zea mays L.)
Plants 2022, 11(7), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11070887 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2178
Abstract
Maize originated from tropical regions and is extremely sensitive to low temperature during germination. Our previous work identified a major QTL, qp1ER1-1, for low temperature germination ability (LTGA) of maize. Here, we introgressed qp1ER1-1 from the tolerant line L220 into the sensitive [...] Read more.
Maize originated from tropical regions and is extremely sensitive to low temperature during germination. Our previous work identified a major QTL, qp1ER1-1, for low temperature germination ability (LTGA) of maize. Here, we introgressed qp1ER1-1 from the tolerant line L220 into the sensitive line PH4CV to generate two near isogenic lines NIL220-3 and NIL220-25. When germinated under cold temperature for 25 days (Cold-25), the NILs showed similar seedling root length and shoot length to L220, but significantly higher than PH4CV. However, when germinated under cold temperature for 15 days (Cold-15) or under normal temperature (25 °C) for 3 days (CK-3), all lines showed similar seedling performance, indicating that introgression of qp1ER1-1 from L220 into PH4CV could improve LTGA of NIL220-3 and NIL220-25. The whole seedlings, including root and shoot, of Cold-15 and CK-3 were harvested for transcriptome analysis, when both stayed at a similar developmental stage. Dry seed embryo was sequenced as a non-germination control (CK-0). Compared with PH4CV, the tolerant line (L220, NIL220-3, and NIL220-25) specifically expressed genes (different expressed genes, DEGs) were identified for CK-0, Cold-15, and CK-3. Then, DEGs identified from Cold-15, but not from CK-0 or CK-3, were defined as tolerant line specifically expressed LTGA genes. Finally, 1786, 174, and 133 DEGs were identified as L220, NIL220-3, and NIL220-25 specifically expressed LTGA genes, respectively. Of them, 27 were common LTGA genes that could be identified from all three tolerant lines, with two (Zm00001d031209 and Zm00001d031292) locating in the confidence interval of qp1ER1-1. In addition, GO analysis revealed that L220 specifically expressed LTGA genes were majorly enriched in the cell division process and plasma membrane related categories. Taken together, these results provided new insight into the molecular mechanism of maize seed LTGA and facilitated the cloning of the qp1ER1-1 gene. Full article
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16 pages, 14035 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis Revealed the Key Genes and Pathways Involved in Seed Germination of Maize Tolerant to Deep-Sowing
Plants 2022, 11(3), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11030359 - 28 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2212
Abstract
To improve our understanding of the mechanism of maize seed germination under deep sowing, transcriptome sequencing and physiological metabolism analyses were performed using B73 embryos separated from ungerminated seeds (UG) or seeds germinated for 2 d at a depth of 2 cm (normal [...] Read more.
To improve our understanding of the mechanism of maize seed germination under deep sowing, transcriptome sequencing and physiological metabolism analyses were performed using B73 embryos separated from ungerminated seeds (UG) or seeds germinated for 2 d at a depth of 2 cm (normal sowing, NS) or 20 cm (deep sowing, DS). Gene ontology (GO) analysis indicated that “response to oxidative stress” and “monolayer-surrounded lipid storage body” were the most significant GO terms in up- and down-regulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of DS. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis suggested that “phenylpropanoid biosynthesis” and “starch and sucrose metabolism” were critical processes in maize seed germination under deep-sowing conditions. Consistent with DEGs, the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidases and α-amylase, as well as the contents of gibberellin 4, indole acetic acid, zeatin and abscisic acid were significantly increased, while the jasmonic-acid level was dramatically reduced under deep-sowing stress. The expressions of six candidate genes were more significantly upregulated in B73 (deep-sowing-tolerant) than in Mo17 (deep-sowing-sensitive) at 20 cm sowing depth. These findings enrich our knowledge of the key biochemical pathways and genes regulating maize seed germination under deep-sowing conditions, which may help in the breeding of varieties tolerant to deep sowing. Full article
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16 pages, 2739 KiB  
Article
QTL Mapping Low-Temperature Germination Ability in the Maize IBM Syn10 DH Population
Plants 2022, 11(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020214 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1979
Abstract
Chilling injury poses a serious threat to seed emergence of spring-sowing maize in China, which has become one of the main climatic limiting factors affecting maize production in China. It is of great significance to mine the key genes controlling low-temperature tolerance during [...] Read more.
Chilling injury poses a serious threat to seed emergence of spring-sowing maize in China, which has become one of the main climatic limiting factors affecting maize production in China. It is of great significance to mine the key genes controlling low-temperature tolerance during seed germination and study their functions for breeding new maize varieties with strong low-temperature tolerance during germination. In this study, 176 lines of the intermated B73 × Mo17 (IBM) Syn10 doubled haploid (DH) population, which comprised 6618 bin markers, were used for QTL analysis of low-temperature germination ability. The results showed significant differences in germination related traits under optimum-temperature condition (25 °C) and low-temperature condition (10 °C) between two parental lines. In total, 13 QTLs were detected on all chromosomes, except for chromosome 5, 7, 10. Among them, seven QTLs formed five QTL clusters on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 9 under the low-temperature condition, which suggested that there may be some genes regulating multiple germination traits at the same time. A total of 39 candidate genes were extracted from five QTL clusters based on the maize GDB under the low-temperature condition. To further screen candidate genes controlling low-temperature germination, RNA-Seq, in which RNA was extracted from the germination seeds of B73 and Mo17 at 10 °C, was conducted, and three B73 upregulated genes and five Mo17 upregulated genes were found by combined analysis of RNA-Seq and QTL located genes. Additionally, the variations of Zm00001d027976 (GLABRA2), Zm00001d007311 (bHLH transcription factor), and Zm00001d053703 (bZIP transcription factor) were found by comparison of amino sequence between B73 and Mo17. This study will provide a theoretical basis for marker-assisted breeding and lay a foundation for further revealing molecular mechanism of low-temperature germination tolerance in maize. Full article
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10 pages, 1410 KiB  
Article
An R2R3-MYB Transcription Factor OsMYBAS1 Promotes Seed Germination under Different Sowing Depths in Transgenic Rice
Plants 2022, 11(1), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010139 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1765
Abstract
MYB-type transcription factors play essential regulatory roles in seed germination and the response to seedling establishment stress. This study isolated a rice R2R3-MYB gene, OsMYBAS1, and functionally characterized its role in seed germination by generating transgenic rice plants with the overexpression and [...] Read more.
MYB-type transcription factors play essential regulatory roles in seed germination and the response to seedling establishment stress. This study isolated a rice R2R3-MYB gene, OsMYBAS1, and functionally characterized its role in seed germination by generating transgenic rice plants with the overexpression and knockout of OsMYBAS1. Gene expression analysis suggested that OsMYBAS1 was highly expressed in brown rice and root, respectively. Subcellular localization analysis determined that OsMYBAS1 was localized in the nucleus. No significant differences in seed germination rate were observed among wild-type (WT) and transgenic rice plants at the 0-cm sowing depth. However, when sown at a depth of 4 cm, higher germination rates, root lengths and seedling heights were obtained in OsMYBAS1-overexpressing plants than in WT. Furthermore, the opposite results were recorded between the osmybas1 mutants and WT. Moreover, OsMYBAS1-overexpressing plants significantly enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme activity and suppressed the accumulation of malondialdehyde (MDA) content at the 4-cm sowing depth. These results indicate that the MYB transcription factor OsMYBAS1 may promote rice seed germination and subsequent seedling establishment under deep-sowing conditions. These findings can provide valuable insight into rice seed-quality breeding to facilitate the development of a dry, direct-seeding production system. Full article
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12 pages, 3756 KiB  
Article
The Opposite Roles of White Light in Regulating Germination of Fresh and Aged Seed in Tobacco
Plants 2021, 10(11), 2457; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112457 - 14 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2064
Abstract
Light is one of the important environmental factors for seeds to evaluate whether the natural environment is appropriate for germination and subsequent seedlings emergence. The mechanism of light-mediated germination is mainly concerned with fresh seeds (FS) of model plants but is poorly understood [...] Read more.
Light is one of the important environmental factors for seeds to evaluate whether the natural environment is appropriate for germination and subsequent seedlings emergence. The mechanism of light-mediated germination is mainly concerned with fresh seeds (FS) of model plants but is poorly understood in aged seeds. Here, the effects of light on germination of FS and naturally aged seeds (NAS) in tobacco and their relationship with plant hormones gibberellins (GA) and abscisic acid (ABA) were investigated. The results demonstrated that light promoted and inhibited the germination of FS and NAS, respectively. GA and ABA were involved in the germination control of NAS, as well as in FS. However, light suppressed GA signal and stimulated ABA signal in NAS, whereas it stimulated GA signal and suppressed ABA signal in FS. In addition, light stimulated the GA accumulation and reduction in ABA in FS while inhibiting the increase in GA level in NAS. Together, the present study demonstrates that light has opposite effects on the germination of FS and NAS, which are closely related to the metabolism and/or signaling of plant hormones ABA and GA. Full article
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12 pages, 2778 KiB  
Article
Differential Physiological Responses to Salt Stress between Salt-Sensitive and Salt-Tolerant japonica Rice Cultivars at the Post-Germination and Seedling Stages
Plants 2021, 10(11), 2433; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112433 - 11 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1944
Abstract
Soil salinity is a key source of abiotic stress in the cultivation of rice. In this study, two currently cultivated japonica rice species—Zhegeng 78 (salt-tolerant) and Zhegeng 99 (salt-sensitive)—with similar backgrounds were identified and used to investigate their differential responses to salt stress [...] Read more.
Soil salinity is a key source of abiotic stress in the cultivation of rice. In this study, two currently cultivated japonica rice species—Zhegeng 78 (salt-tolerant) and Zhegeng 99 (salt-sensitive)—with similar backgrounds were identified and used to investigate their differential responses to salt stress at the post-germination and seedling stages. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that the expression of OsSOS1, OsHAK1, and OsHAK5 at the post-germination stage, and the expression of OsHKT1,1, OsHTK2,1, and OsHAK1 at the seedling stage, were significantly higher in the salt-tolerant Zhegeng 78 compared with those of the salt-sensitive Zhegeng 99 under salt stress. The significantly lower Na+ net uptake rate at the post-germination and higher K+ net uptake rates at the post-germination and seedling stages were observed in the salt-tolerant Zhegeng 78 compared with those of the salt-sensitive Zhegeng 99 under salt stress. Significantly higher activity of peroxidase (POD) and the lower hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) accumulation were observed in the salt-tolerant Zhegeng 78 compared with those of salt-sensitive Zhegeng 99 under salt stress at the seeding stage. The salt-tolerant Zhegeng 78 might be valuable in future cultivation in salinity soils. Full article
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