Seed dormancy and chemical modifications of nucleic acids

This review focuses on new mechanisms of controlling gene expression during seed dormancy: the oxidation and methylation of the mRNA and DNA. The biological significance of these chemical modifications upon seed development is discussed.


The seed is the propagule of higher plants and allows the dissemination and the survival of the species. Seed dormancy prevents premature germination under favourable conditions. Dormant seeds are only able to germinate in a narrow range of conditions. During after-ripening (AR), a mechanism of dormancy release, seeds gradually lose dormancy through a period of dry storage. This review is mainly focused on how chemical modifications of mRNA and genomic DNA, such as oxidation and methylation, affect gene expression during late stages of seed development, especially during dormancy and afer-ripening. The biological significance of nucleic acid oxidation and methylation upon seed development is discussed.


Original Paper:

Katsuya-Gaviria, K., Caro, E., Carrillo-Barral, N., Iglesias-Fernández, R. 2020. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Nucleic Acid Modifications During Seed Dormancy. Plants 9, 679. DOI: 10.3390/plants9060679