Seed Dormancy, Longevity and Their Adaptation

Thu Phuong Nguyen*, Leónie Bentsink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Seed dormancy and seed longevity are two important seed characteristics. Together these two traits determine the total seed life span, that is, the total time that seeds can remain viable, from seed dispersal until germination. Seed dormancy and seed longevity are induced during seed development. Seed dormancy is affected by both endogenous and exogenous factors such as plant hormones and the environment. Two well-known plant hormones that regulate seed dormancy are abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellin (GA). There is great genetic variation in seed dormancy and seed longevity; most of it is present as induced variation resulting from many mutagenesis experiments that have been performed in Arabidopsis. This chapter presents three possible hypotheses to explain the negative correlation (trade-off) between seed dormancy and seed longevity. It concludes that seed dormancy and longevity are very complex traits, which are under the regulation of a large number of genes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular Mechanisms in Plant Adaptation
EditorsR.A.E. Laitinen
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781118860526
ISBN (Print)9781118860175
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2015


  • Abscisic acid (ABA)
  • Gibberellin (GA)
  • Plant hormones
  • Seed dormancy
  • Seed longevity

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