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Title: Seed functional traits in crops and their wild relatives
Author: Castillo-Lorenzo, Elena
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 141X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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Seed functional traits, such as seed mass, germination, seedling production and longevity are of paramount importance to agriculture, food security and the conservation of wild species. However, species adaptability is usually described by plant functional traits and seed functional traits are underrepresented in ecological studies. Thus, this thesis has the purpose to compare seed functional traits of crops and their crop wild relatives (CWRs) especially seed germination rate through thermal and hydro time models and normal seedling survival. Moreover, the influence of the maternal and progeny environment on seed trait responses was also explored. Seed functional traits (physical, physiological) were characterised for three crops (Hordeum vulgare, Brassica oleracea, and Helianthus annuus), produced under control and climate-change scenarios (water limitations), and a wide range of their CWRs. Crop seeds had relatively poor conversion of germinated seeds into normal seedlings (lower than 30 %) at 35 ºC or higher temperatures and - 1.0 MPa compared with CWR seeds. Thermal and hydro time parameters differed greatly between the crops and their CWRs. These functional traits were influenced by the environment of seed collection site including mean monthly precipitation for Brassica CWRs and annual mean temperature for Hordeum and Helianthus CWRs. Thus, the maternal environment contributed to the seed functional trait response. Not only are thermal- and hydro-time and their thresholds for temperature and water potential reliable descriptors of seed lot performance under broad ranges of temperature and water potential, these parameters also effectively describe the loss of germination quality in sunflower seeds during ageing. In conclusion, this comparison of the underlying variability and factors influencing the measured parameters of seed responses in crops and their CWRs emphasises the importance of preserving and using CWR genetic resources in future crop breeding programmes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Community Research and Development Information Service ; European Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QK Botany ; SB Plant culture