The influence of maternal environment on seed and seedling quality traits and metabolites profiles od the seeds in a recombinant inbred line population of tomato

N. Geshnizjani, Saadat Sarikhani Khorami, L.A.J. Willems, L.B. Snoek, H.W.M. Hilhorst, W. Ligterink

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Many factors are influencing successful germination, seedling establishment and further growth and
development in all plants. Among these factors seed quality is one of the most important with a clear
effect on successful crop development. High quality and well developed seeds will aid a successful life
cycle of crops, from germination to seedling establishment through to fruit and seed production,
especially under stressful environmental conditions. It is generally thought that seed quality is affected
by many environmental cues such as drought, light and temperature. The maternal environment
including climate conditions, is often reported as a profound effective factor influencing the
development of seed quality. However, there is little knowledge about the genetic and environmental
factors, and their interaction, that influence seed quality and seedling establishment. The aim of this
study is to identify the molecular mechanisms that are involved in seed quality and also how these
mechanisms are controlled by adverse maternal environmental conditions. For this purpose we used a
tomato recombinant inbred line (RIL) population consisting of 101 lines grown under various nutritional
environmental conditions, like high phosphate and low nitrate, during seed development. With a
combination of genetic, physiological and ‘omics’ technologies in a so-called generalized genetical
genomics (GGG) design, we aim to construct the molecular networks that regulate seed and seedling
quality. Further studies on these networks can ultimately help to predict the effect of different maternal
environmental conditions on seed quality and this information will be very useful to improve production
of high-performance seeds. Extensive phenotyping of the harvested seeds showed strong variation for
most of the seed germination traits such as Gmax, t50 and U8416 under different germination conditions.
This variation, as well as the variation measured in primary metabolite content in the dry mature seeds
(mQTLs), was not only dependent on genetic factors, but also on the maternal environment and a
strong genetic x environment (G x E) effect. Some phenotypic QTLs co-located with mQTLs, which
might indicate a causal relationship between the observed changes in metabolite content and seed
and seedling quality traits
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventInternational society for seed science: Triennial Conference 2017 - Monterey Plaza Hotel, Monterey, United States
Duration: 10 Sep 201714 Sep 2017


ConferenceInternational society for seed science
CountryUnited States

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