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

Abstract

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
Chapter11
Pages123-132
ISBN (Print)9780851994048
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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