Seed dormancy: Development of Dormancy

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Seed dormancy is a temporary intrinsic block to germination which has evolved differently across species through adaptation to the prevailing environments so that germination is timed to avoid unfavorable weather for subsequent plant establishment and reproductive growth. A classification system for the different forms of dormancy and how these evolved has been proposed by seed ecologists. Here we describe the environmental and hormonal regulation, as well as the underlying molecular and biomechanical mechanisms of physiological dormancy, the most abundant and best investigated dormancy class and discuss other, far-less understood, dormancy classes. Mechanisms involved in primary dormancy induction during seed maturation, dormancy release after seed dispersal, and dormancy cycling in the soil seed bank are described in relation to ecophysiology. We discuss applied aspects of seed dormancy for horti- and agriculture including its alleviation in crop species by seed technologies as well as food security in times of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences
EditorsBrian Thomas, Brian Murray, Denis Murphy
Place of PublicationWaltham, MA
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780123948083
ISBN (Print)9780123948076
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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