DOG1 expression is predicted by the seed-maturation environment and contributes to geographical variation in germination in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
Molecular Ecology (Impact Factor: 5.84). 08/2011; 20(16):3336-49. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05181.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Seasonal germination timing of Arabidopsis thaliana strongly influences overall life history expression and is the target of intense natural selection. This seasonal germination timing depends strongly on the interaction between genetics and seasonal environments both before and after seed dispersal. DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 (DOG1) is the first gene that has been identified to be associated with natural variation in primary dormancy in A. thaliana. Here, we report interaccession variation in DOG1 expression and document that DOG1 expression is associated with seed-maturation temperature effects on germination; DOG1 expression increased when seeds were matured at low temperature, and this increased expression was associated with increased dormancy of those seeds. Variation in DOG1 expression suggests a geographical structure such that southern accessions, which are more dormant, tend to initiate DOG1 expression earlier during seed maturation and achieved higher expression levels at the end of silique development than did northern accessions. Although elimination of the synthesis of phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) results in the elimination of maternal temperature effects on dormancy, DOG1 expression predicted dormancy better than expression of genes involved in ABA metabolism.

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