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Molecular mechanisms underlying seed priming technology and ageing resilience of vegetable crop seeds with morphological dormancy


Dormancy is an innate state of arrested growth that occurs across all life forms with plant seed dormancy being the key to adaptation and successful crop establishment upon abiotic stress and climate change. The overall aim of the project is to investigate the largely unknown molecular mechanisms underlying technologies to improve the quality of crop seeds with morphological dormancy (MD). Seed bio-technologies applied to vegetable seeds with MD alter their germination responses and their storability. Their underlying mechanisms will be investigated combining global gene expression analysis, mathematical modelling of abiotic stress responses, innovative imaging and biomechanics in an interdisciplinary approach.

Disciplines and Techniques
Project supervisor/s
Gerhard Leubner
Biological Sciences (
Royal Holloway University of London
Margaret Collinson
Earth Science
Royal Holloway University of London
Rocket Science: The effect of spaceflight on germination physiology, ageing, and transcriptome of Eruca sativa seed.
Chandler JO, Haas FB, Khan S, Bowden L, Ignatz M, Enfissi EMA, Gawtroph F, Griffiths A, Fraser PD, Rensing SA, Leubner-Metzger G
 Life 10:49
Fracture of the dimorphic fruits of Aethionema arabicum (Brassicaceae)
Arshad W, Marone F, Collinson M, Leubner-Metzger G, Steinbrecher T.
Botany 98: 65-75
Usability of reference-free transcriptome assemblies for detection of differential expression: a case study on Aethionema arabicum dimorphic seeds.
Wilhelmsson PKI, Chandler J, Fernandez-Pozo N, Graeber G, Ullrich KK, Arshad W, Khan S, Hofberger J, Buchta K, Edgar PP, Pires C, Schranz E, Leubner-Metzger G*, Rensing SA*
BMC Genomics 20:95
Fruit fracture biomechanics and the release of Lepidium didymum pericarp-imposed mechanical dormancy by fungi.
*shared corresponding authors • Sperber K*, Steinbrecher T*, Graeber K, Scherer G, Clausing S, Wiegand N, Hourston JE, Kurre R, LeubnerMetzger G**, Mummenhoff K**
Nature Communications 8:1868
DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 mediates a conserved coat-dormancy mechanism for the temperature- and gibberellin-dependent control of seed germination
*shared first authors, **joint corresponding authors • Graeber K, Linkies A, Steinbrecher T, Mummenhoff K, Tarkowská D, Turečková V, Ignatz M, Sperber K, Voegele A, de Jong H, Urbanová T, Strnad T, LeubnerMetzger G
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 111(34)