How plants pass seasonal information
A team of genetic scientists from John Innes Centre investigated the plant genetic memory also how plants pass seasonal information down to their seeds to give them the best chance of reproductive success.
In plants science , plants coordinate with temperature and length to optimize the timing for key life-cycle stages. These stages include flowering, seed dispersal and seed dormancy a timely plan applied by mother plants to ensure seed germination occurs in ideal conditions when seedling survival rate is high.
While, Seasonal sensing requires the activity of two characterized genes Flowering Locus C (FLC) and Flowering Locus (FT) a temperature sensor that acts as a brake to flowering and the latter a day length sensor.
Previous studies have shown that FLC follows up on FT to deliver seasonal information that promotes flowering. Now, the new study has identified the precise mechanism by which temperature is passed from mother to seeds.
Professor Steven Penfield, said, the new study findings control the timing of flowering also control seed germination, but act in reverse order.
The study shows that the two genes gather temperature information from the environment and share this with progeny during seed set. The mother plant uses seasonal information to control the behavior of the progeny to optimize fitness. The mother plant exploits environmental temperature variation to create diversity in seed type and behavior.
Professor Penfield explains, Greater understanding of how plants communicate seasonal information to their offspring will help efforts to create crops that cope better with climate change.