Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

ERC

Seeds of Life Result In Brief

Project reference: 210867
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: France

How the seeds of life work

Seeds play an important role in food security for both humans and animals. Researchers have taken steps towards understanding the genetics of how seeds grow and mature.
How the seeds of life work
Seeds are a major food source for both humans and animals, yet little is known about how they grow. This lack of knowledge hampers further development of the seed. At the same time, the incredible complexity of the seed is a major hurdle in research.

The EU-funded SEEDS OF LIFE (Seeds of life - Analysis of seed growth and development) initiative aimed to unravel the molecular mechanisms that govern seed growth. The research group analysed seed development in two species with a combination of cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology methods.

Researchers used the Arabidopsis and Brachypodium model species for their analyses. They mutated the seeds of these species to better understand how seeds function.

The research group focused its analyses on understanding the machinery behind seed growth, including the molecular machinery known as cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). CDKs are a key player in cell proliferation; using this data, SEEDS OF LIFE was able to establish a genetic framework of cell proliferation.

Project researchers found that CDK-cyclin complexes are necessary to trigger cell proliferation, which helps seeds grow. They also found that the different pathways that govern seed development and growth are closely interconnected. Lastly, SEEDS OF LIFE showed that histone modification paves the way for seed development.

This research will have far-reaching influence in the development of better seeds, and ultimately help to improve global food security.

Related information

Keywords

Seeds, food security, SEEDS OF LIFE, seed growth, cyclin-dependent kinases, cell proliferation
Record Number: 183164 / Last updated on: 2016-08-02
Domain: Environment