Understanding seed behavior: populations of individuals

K.J. Bradford, P. Bello
Seeds are critical in horticulture to deliver advances in breeding into plants in the field or greenhouse. Even in clonally propagated crops, seeds are essential for breeding and for propagating rootstocks. Recent advances in seed biology have identified the importance of understanding both the individuality of each seed and how seeds behave collectively in populations. Advances in technology now enable morphological, physiological and developmental (germination) analyses of individual seeds. This information can be used for upgrading seed lots and for modeling and predicting seed behavior under diverse temperature and water conditions. Population-based threshold models can also quantify seed responses to hormones, priming, dormancy-breaking treatments, and storage conditions. Evidence is accumulating that the population-based behavior of seeds occurs also at other levels of biological organization, from molecules and cells to species. This article presents an overview of how individual diversity within larger populations constitutes an organizing principle for understanding seed behavior and biological processes in general.
Bradford, K.J. and Bello, P. (2023). Understanding seed behavior: populations of individuals. Acta Hortic. 1365, 1-16
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1365.1
germination, population-based threshold models, thermal time, hydrotime, hydrothermal time

Acta Horticulturae