Preprint Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Dead Can Nurture: Novel Insights into the Function of Dead Organs Enclosing Embryos

Version 1 : Received: 23 July 2018 / Approved: 26 July 2018 / Online: 26 July 2018 (09:53:41 CEST)

How to cite: Raviv, B.; Godwin, J.; Granot, G.; Grafi, G. The Dead Can Nurture: Novel Insights into the Function of Dead Organs Enclosing Embryos. Preprints 2018, 2018070432 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0432.v1). Raviv, B.; Godwin, J.; Granot, G.; Grafi, G. The Dead Can Nurture: Novel Insights into the Function of Dead Organs Enclosing Embryos. Preprints 2018, 2018070432 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0432.v1).

Abstract

Plants have evolved a variety of dispersal units whereby the embryo is enclosed by various dead protective layers derived from maternal organs of the reproductive system including seed coats (integuments), pericarps (ovary wall, e.g., indehiscent dry fruits) as well as floral bracts (e.g. glumes) in grasses. Commonly, dead organs enclosing embryos (DOEEs) are assumed to provide a physical shield for embryo protection and means for dispersal in the ecosystem. In this review article, we will highlight recent studies showing that DOEEs of various species across families also have the capability for long-term storage of various substances including active proteins (hydrolases, ROS detoxifying enzymes), nutrients and metabolites that have the potential to support the embryo during storage in the soil and assist in germination and seedling establishment. We discuss a possible role for DOEEs as natural coatings capable of ‘engineering’ the seed microenvironment for the benefit of the embryo, the seedling and the growing plant.

Subject Areas

Seed coat; pericarps; floral bracts; glumes; dead organs enclosing embryos; seed germination; seedling establishment; hydrolytic enzymes; ROS detoxifying enzymes; cell wall modification enzymes; nutrients; phytohormones; nucleases; chitinases; Brassicaceae; Poaceae

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