Clues on an intraspecific communication system in seed-seedling transition

João Paulo Ribeiro-Oliveira*, Lilian E.D. Silveira, Lilian V.A. Pinto, Edvaldo A.A. Silva, Henk W.M. Hilhorst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


How much interactivity is in a seed-seedling transition system? We hypothesize that seed-seed, seed-seedling, and seedling-seedling interactions can drive the early plant development in artificial growth systems directly due to mutual stimulation phenomena. To test the hypothesis, we performed seed germination measurements, gene expression in germination sensu stricto, water dynamics in germinating seeds, and information theory. For a biological model, we used Solanum lycocarpum A. St.-Hil. seeds. This is a neotropical species with high intraspecific variability in the seed sample. Our findings demonstrate that the dynamic and transient seed-seedling transition system is influenced by the number of individuals (seed or seedling) in the artificial system. In addition, we also discuss that: (1) the information entropy enables the quantification of system disturbance relative to individuals at the same physiological stage (seed-seed or seedling-seedling), which may be determinant for embryo growth during germination and (2) the intraspecific communication in seed-seedling transition systems formed by germinating seeds has the potential to alter the expression pattern of key genes for embryo development. Therefore, the phenomenon of mutual stimulation during the germination process can be an important aspect of seed-seedling transition, especially in laboratory conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Mar 2021

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