Joint Calls

Dimorphic fruits, seeds and seedlings as adaptation mechanisms to abiotic stress in unpredictable environments

  • Acronym SeedAdapt
  • Duration 36
  • Project leader Gerhard Leubner UK Royal Holloway, University of London funded by BBSRC
  • Other project participants Ortrun Mittelsten-Scheid AUT Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology, Vienna funded by FWF
    Klaus Mummenhoff DE University of Osnabrück funded by DFG
    Stefan A. Rensing DE University of Marburg funded by DFG
    Eric Schranz NL Wageningen University funded by NWO
    Günter Theißen DE University of Jena funded by DFG
  • Funding
  • Total Granted budget 1.750.073 €


The aim of the SeedAdapt project is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of fruit/seed-related early-life history traits that evolved in annual plant species as adaptations to abiotic stresses. Higher plant dispersal units - diaspores, here: fruits and seeds - support the distribution and early life history of the progeny. Our project will use a comparative approach to understand the dimorphic diaspore (fruit/seed) syndromes produced on the same plant of annual Aethionema species (sister of all core Brassicaceae, cabbage family) and provide distinct adaptations as a dormancy bet-hedging strategy. The availibility of the Aethionema arabicum genome will facilitate our comparative investigation of the epigenomes, hormonomes and transcriptomes in relation to abiotic stress during sensitive developmental processes. We propose that investigating the regulatory basis of fruit, seed, and seedling trait diversity is ideal for integrating new technologies and complementary expertise in order to study a field with utmost importance in ecology, evolution, seed industry and crop breeding.
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