Extensive translational regulation during seed germination revealed by polysomal profiling

Bing Bai, Alessia Peviani, Sjors van der Horst, Magdalena Gamm, Berend Snel, Leónie Bentsink, Johannes Hanson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


This work investigates the extent of translational regulation during seed germination. The polysome occupancy of each gene is determined by genome-wide profiling of total mRNA and polysome-associated mRNA. This reveals extensive translational regulation during Arabidopsis thaliana seed germination. The polysome occupancy of thousands of individual mRNAs changes to a large extent during the germination process. Intriguingly, these changes are restricted to two temporal phases (shifts) during germination, seed hydration and germination. Sequence features, such as upstream open reading frame number, transcript length, mRNA stability, secondary structures, and the presence and location of specific motifs correlated with this translational regulation. These features differed significantly between the two shifts, indicating that independent mechanisms regulate translation during seed germination. This study reveals substantial translational dynamics during seed germination and identifies development-dependent sequence features and cis elements that correlate with the translation control, uncovering a novel and important layer of gene regulation during seed germination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-244
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Arabidopsis
  • Germination
  • Imbibition
  • Polysomal profiling
  • Ribosome
  • RNA structure
  • Seedling establishment
  • Translatomics


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