Molecular genetic analysis of Arabidopsis seed quality

S.P.C. Groot, A.H.M. van der Geest, K.J.Y. Tesnier, C. Alonso-Blanco, L. Bentsink, H. Donkers, M. Koornneef, D. Vreugdenhil, R.J. Bino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Improvement of seed quality may greatly benefit from the characterization of genes involved in seed development and seed germination. To study the effect of genes on seed quality, a comparison was made among genetically different lines. Ideally, the genetic difference should be known at the DNA sequence level. For this purpose Arabidopsis thaliana offers a potentially powerful model system. The complete genome sequence of this plant species will soon become available, a large amount of genetic variation is present and daily new mutants are produced. To exploit Arabidopsis as a model system for genetic analysis of seed quality, appropriate seed quality assays were developed. Several mutants and ecotypes were compared for storability, using a controlled deterioration assay. Large variation was observed with regard to this trait. Seeds from abscisic acid deficient or insensitive mutants deteriorated faster compared to wild-type seeds. Seeds from the ecotype Landsberg erecta and the ecotype Cape Verde Island differ in dormancy, controlled deterioration tolerance and their content of raffinose and stachyose. A quantitative trait loci analysis of recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between these two ecotypes showed that stachyose and raffinose content were linked to a single locus in the genome. The traits for dormancy, controlled deterioration tolerance and content of the sugars were not genetically linked. A very strong reduction in stachyose and raffinose content had no effect on the controlled deterioration tolerance of the seeds. It is concluded that Arabidopsis offers a powerful tool to study genetic variation in seed quality and the effect of modification of seed composition on seed quality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSeed biology : advances and applications : proceedings of the sixth international workshop on seeds, Merida, Mexico, 1999
EditorsM. Black, K.J. Bradford, J. Vasques-Ramos
Place of PublicationWallingford
PublisherCABI Publishing
ISBN (Print)9780851994048
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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