Gerhard Leubner

Gerhard Leubner
Royal Holloway, University of London | RHUL · Department of Biological Sciences

Professor

About

142
Publications
82,734
Reads
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10,325
Citations
Citations since 2016
42 Research Items
5617 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
Introduction
Seed biology - Cross-species approaches to germination, dormancy and quality of plant seeds We ('The Seed Biology Place' - www.seedbiology.eu) use comparative approaches with model and crop species representing diverse phylogenetic clades and distinct seed types for the identification of evolutionary conserved and species-specific mechanisms that control seed dormancy and germination. For further information: 'The Seed Biology Place' - www.seedbiology.eu
Additional affiliations
February 2013 - present
Palacký University Olomouc
Position
  • Professor
April 2012 - present
Royal Holloway, University of London
Position
  • Chair of Plant Biochemistry
December 2000 - March 2012
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Position
  • Independent group leader

Publications

Publications (142)
Article
Full-text available
Developing innovative agri-technologies is essential for the sustainable intensification of global food production. Seed dormancy is an adaptive trait which defines the environmental conditions in which the seed is able to germinate. Dormancy release requires sensing and integration of multiple environmental signals, a complex process which may be...
Article
Full-text available
Seeds sense temperature, nutrient levels and light conditions to inform decision making on the timing of germination. Limited light availability for photoblastic species results in irregular germination timing and losses of population germination percentage. Seed industries are therefore looking for interventions to mitigate this risk. A growing ar...
Article
Full-text available
Molecular responses of plants to natural phytotoxins comprise more general and compound-specific mechanisms. How phytotoxic chalcones and other flavonoids inhibit seedling growth was widely studied, but how they interfere with seed germination is largely unknown. The dihydrochalcone and putative allelochemical myrigalone A (MyA) inhibits seed germi...
Article
Full-text available
This article comments on: Di Marzo M, Ebeling Viana V, Banfi C, Cassina V, Corti R, Herrera-Ubaldo H, Babolin N, Guazzotti A, Kiegle E, Gregis V, de Folter S, Sampedro J, Mantegazza F, Colombo L, Ezquer I. 2022. Cell wall modifications by α-XYLOSIDASE1 are required for the control of seed and fruit size. Journal of Experimental Botany 73, 1499–1515...
Article
Full-text available
The dynamic behaviour of seeds in soil seed banks depends on their ability to act as sophisticated environmental sensors to adjust their sensitivity thresholds for germination by dormancy mechanisms. Here we show that prolonged incubation of sugar beet fruits at low temperature (chilling at 5°C, generally known to release seed dormancy of many spec...
Article
Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) is a globally important disease of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) caused by the fungus Cercospora beticola. Long-distance movement of C. beticola has been indirectly evidenced in recent population genetic studies, suggesting potential dispersal via seed. Commercial sugar beet “seed” consists of the reproductive fruit (true...
Article
Full-text available
Underdeveloped (small) embryos embedded in abundant endosperm tissue, and thus having morphological (MD) or morphophysiological (MPD) dormancy, are considered to be the ancestral state in seed dormancy evolution. This trait is retained in the Apiaceae family which provides excellent model systems to study the underpinning mechanisms. We investigate...
Article
Full-text available
This article comments on: Fernández Farnocchia RB, Benech-Arnold RL, Mantese A, Batlla D. 2021. Optimization of timing of next-generation emergence in Amaranthus hybridus is determined via modulation of seed dormancy by the maternal environment. Journal of Experimental Botany 72, 4283–4297.
Article
Full-text available
The developmental transition from a fertilized ovule to a dispersed diaspore (seed or fruit) involves complex differentiation processes of the ovule's integuments leading to the diversity in mature seed coat structures in angiosperms. In this study, comparative imaging and transcriptome analysis were combined to investigate the morph-specific devel...
Article
Full-text available
Aethionema arabicum is an important model plant for Brassicaceae trait evolution, particularly of seed (development, regulation, germination, dormancy) and fruit (development, dehiscence mechanisms) characters. Its genome assembly was recently improved but the gene annotation was not updated. Here, we improved the Ae. arabicum gene annotation using...
Article
Full-text available
How the biophysical properties of overlaying tissues control growth, such as the embryonic root (radicle) during seed germination, is a fundamental question. In eudicot seeds the endosperm surrounding the radicle confers coat dormancy and controls germination responses through modulation of its cell wall mechanical properties. Far less is known for...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental variability can lead to dispersal: why stay put if it is better elsewhere? Without clues about local conditions, the optimal strategy is often to disperse a set fraction of offspring. Many habitats contain environmentally differing sub‐habitats. Is it adaptive for individuals to sense in which sub‐habitat they find themselves, using e...
Article
Full-text available
Main conclusion Storage at an elevated partial pressure of oxygen and classical artificial ageing cause a rapid loss of seed viability of short-lived vegetable seeds. AbstractProlonging seed longevity during storage is of major importance for gene banks and the horticultural industry. Slowing down biochemical deterioration, including oxygen-depende...
Article
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In the ‘Rocket Science’ project, storage of Eruca sativa (salad rocket) seeds for six months on board the International Space Station resulted in delayed seedling establishment. Here we investigated the physiological and molecular mechanisms underpinning the spaceflight effects on dry seeds. We found that ‘Space’ seed germination vigor was reduced,...
Article
Full-text available
Plasticity in plant dispersal traits can maximise the ability of a plant species to survive in stressful environments during colonization. Aethionema arabicum (Brassicaceae) is a dimorphic annual species that is hypothesized to survive stressful conditions during colonization due to adaptive plasticity in life-phase (vegetative vs sexual) and fruit...
Article
Full-text available
Main conclusion Seed-processing technologies such as polishing and washing enhance crop seed quality by limited removal of the outer layers and by leaching. Combined, this removes chemical compounds that inhibit germination. Abstract Industrial processing to deliver high-quality commercial seed includes removing chemical inhibitors of germination,...
Article
Full-text available
Fruits exhibit highly diversified morphology, and are arguably one of the most highly specialised organs to have evolved in higher plants. Fruits range in morphological, biomechanical, and textural properties, often as adaptations for their respective dispersal strategy. While most plant species possess monomorphic (of a single type) fruit and seed...
Article
Full-text available
This study provides a comparative analysis of the dormancy and germination mechanisms of the indehiscent fruits of hoary cress ( Lepidium draba L.) and hairy whitetop ( Lepidium appelianum Al-Shehbaz), two invasive weeds of the Brassicaceae. Germination assays comparing isolated seeds (manually removed from the fruits) and intact indehiscent fruits...
Article
Full-text available
The timing of seed germination is crucial for seed plants and is coordinated by internal and external cues, reflecting adaptations to different habitats. Physiological and molecular studies with lettuce and Arabidopsis thaliana have documented a strict requirement for light to initiate germination and identified many receptors, signaling cascades,...
Article
Full-text available
Background RNA-sequencing analysis is increasingly utilized to study gene expression in non-model organisms without sequenced genomes. Aethionema arabicum (Brassicaceae) exhibits seed dimorphism as a bet-hedging strategy – producing both a less dormant mucilaginous (M⁺) seed morph and a more dormant non-mucilaginous (NM) seed morph. Here, we compar...
Preprint
Full-text available
Timing of seed germination is crucial for seed plants and coordinated by internal and external cues, reflecting adaptations to different habitats. Physiological and molecular studies with lettuce and Arabidopsis thaliana have documented a strict requirement for light to initiate germination and identified many receptors, signalling cascades, and ho...
Article
Full-text available
Heteromorphic diaspores (fruits and seeds) are an adaptive bet‐hedging strategy to cope with spatiotemporally variable environments, particularly fluctuations in favourable temperatures and unpredictable precipitation regimes in arid climates. We conducted comparative analyses of the biophysical and ecophysiological properties of the two distinct d...
Article
Full-text available
Distinct plant seed/fruit structures evolved to support reproduction and dispersal in distinct environments. Appropriate biomechanical properties and interactions of the various seed compartments are indispensable to plant survival. Most seeds are dispersed in a dry state generated during seed development/maturation for which novel aspects of endos...
Article
Full-text available
The biomechanical and ecophysiological properties of plant seed/fruit structures are fundamental to survival in distinct environments. Dispersal of fruits with hard pericarps (fruit coats) encasing seeds has evolved many times independently within taxa which have seed dispersal as their default strategy. The mechanisms by which the constraint of a...
Article
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Experimentally measuring the elastic properties of thin biological surfaces is non-trivial, particularly when they are curved. One technique that may be used is the indentation of a thin sheet of material by a rigid indenter, whilst measuring the applied force and displacement. This gives immediate information on the fracture strength of the materi...
Article
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Millennia of continuous innovation have driven ever increasing efficiency in the milling process. Mechanically characterizing wheat grains and discerning the structure and function of the wheat bran layers can contribute to continuing innovation. We present novel shear force and puncture force testing regimes to characterize different wheat grain c...
Article
Full-text available
From a biomechanical perspective, the completion of seed (and fruit) germination depends on the balance of two opposing forces: the growth potential of the embryonic axis (radicle–hypocotyl growth zone) and the restraint of the seed-covering layers (endosperm, testa, and pericarp). The diverse seed tissues are composite materials which differ in th...
Article
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Understanding how plants cope with changing habitats is a timely and important topic in plant research. Phenotypic plasticity describes the capability of a genotype to produce different phenotypes when exposed to different environmental conditions. In contrast, the constant production of a set of distinct phenotypes by one genotype mediates bet-hed...
Chapter
Seed dormancy is a temporary intrinsic block to germination which has evolved differently across species through adaptation to the prevailing environments so that germination is timed to avoid unfavorable weather for subsequent plant establishment and reproductive growth. A classification system for the different forms of dormancy and how these evo...
Chapter
Seed dormancy causes a delay of germination until the arrival of a favorable growth season and therefore has a substantial influence on plant fitness. Genetic factors as well as environmental cues control dormancy. A variety of genetic and molecular biological approaches have been used to identify genetic components regulating seed dormancy. Those...
Chapter
Gibberellins (GA) promote seed germination, but they are not simple 'Go Ahead' (GA) molecules as the insight gained into the molecular mechanisms underlying their role in seeds appears to be complex. This chapter covers their central role in mediating the environmental and developmental control of seed germination, and how this differs from vegetat...
Article
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Pectin methylesterase (PME) controls the methylesterification status of pectins and thereby determines the biophysical properties of plant cell walls, which are important for tissue growth and weakening processes. We demonstrate here that tissue-specific and spatio-temporal alterations in cell wall pectin methylesterification occur during the germi...
Article
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A 66-year-old woman with a history of mitral valve disease was hospitalized because of pneumonia of the right lung with bilateral pleural effusions. Antibiotic therapy was initiated, and a chest tube was placed into the right pleural cavity. The patient responded well to the treatment and was discharged 3 weeks later. Echocardiography performed dur...
Article
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Significance Mechanisms of plant seed dormancy evolved to delay germination to a season favorable for seedling growth. Germination timing is an important adaptive early-life history trait which determines plant fitness in natural and agricultural ecosystems. The DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 ( DOG1 ) gene provides natural genetic variation in dormancy, wa...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding of seed ageing, which leads to viability loss during storage, is vital for ex situ plant conservation and agriculture alike. Yet the potential for regulation at the transcriptional level has not been fully investigated. Here, we studied the relationship between seed viability, gene expression and glutathione redox status during artifi...
Article
Full-text available
Seed germination is a critical stage in the plant life cycle and the first step towards successful plant establishment. Understanding germination is therefore of important ecological and agronomical relevance. Previous research revealed that different seed compartments (testa, endosperm and embryo) control germination, but little is known about the...
Article
Full-text available
Seed dormancy is a block to the completion of germination of an intact viable seed under favourable conditions and is an adaptive and agronomical important trait. Thus, elucidating conserved features of dormancy mechanisms is of great interest. The worldwide distributed genus Lepidium (Brassicaceae) is well suited for cross-species comparisons inve...
Article
Full-text available
Seed dormancy is a block to the completion of germination of an intact viable seed under favorable conditions and is an adaptive and agronomically important trait. Thus, elucidating conserved features of dormancy mechanisms is of great interest. The worldwide-distributed genus Lepidium (Brassicaceae) is well suited for cross-species comparisons inv...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding of seed ageing, which leads to viability loss during storage, is vital for ex situ plant conservation and agriculture alike. Yet the potential for regulation at the transcriptional level has not been fully investigated. Here, we studied the relationship between seed viability, gene expression and glutathione redox status during artifi...
Data
Full-text available