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Title: Understanding the mechanism(s) of hydro-priming to improve seed vigour and seedling establishment of Solanum lycopersicum
Author: Camu, Isabelle Veronique Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 0310
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2017
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Seeds are very complex and diverse plant organs. Seed germination is the most sensitive stage of plant life and is influenced by various environmental signals including phytohormones, salt, light, temperature and water potential. Seeds have an innate mechanism called dormancy that blocks germination, and plants have developed several dormancy-inducing strategies to optimise the timing of germination. Seed germination vigour is an important factor in crop yield. Seedling vigour is defined as the sum of the seed properties which determine the level of activity and performance during germination and seedling emergence. A poor seed lot can be improved by post-harvest treatment such as hydro-priming as it is used in the seed industry, but the biological mechanism is unknown. The aim of this study is to understand the mechanism(s) of hydro-priming in order to improve seed vigour and seed germination. I set seeds at different temperatures to produce variation in seed vigour and it showed that germination of seeds with low vigour can be improved by hydro-priming. Using LC-IT-ToF/MS I characterised compounds that leach from seeds during hydro-priming, and showed that some of these are putative germination inhibitors. Adding these compounds to the water during hydro-priming showed that the inhibitory effect of these compounds is not the main mechanism that regulates germination. Also, transcriptomic analysis showed that genes involved in OPDA pathway are expressed during hydro-priming as well as during endosperm weakening cap associated genes. I concluded that hydro-priming improves the speed of germination of low temperature set and its efficiency is dependent of activation of metabolic activity.
Supervisor: Smirnoff, Nicholas ; Penfield, Steven Sponsor: Enza Zaden ; BBSRC ; University of Exeter
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Tomato ; seed germination ; hydro-priming