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Trends Plant Sci. 2008 Jan;13(1):7-13. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

Post-genomics dissection of seed dormancy and germination.

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  • 1Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham LE12 5RD, UK.


Studies of genome expression in Arabidopsis have provided important new information about mechanisms controlling germination and suggest new avenues to explore. Unexpectedly, changes in transcription and protein metabolism were observed in the 'dry'(1) quiescent seed state, suggesting that careful controls are required for seed expression-profiling experiments. Changes in the transcriptome following seed imbibition suggest a dynamic relationship between RNAs 'stored' from seed maturation, and synthesis of new RNAs related to post-imbibition germinating- or dormant-seed states. Recent post-genomics approaches suggest that RNA translation or post-translation are the major levels of control for germination completion and that transcriptome changes might reflect alteration in dormancy status or enhancement of germination vigour and effects on post-germination functions that relate to seedling growth.

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