Collaborative Research: QTL and Field Selection Studies of Parental Effects on Seasonal Dormancy in Arabidopsis Thaliana

Grants and Contracts Details


The seasonal timing of seed germination may have critical consequences for plant survival and reproduction. In many plant species, seasonal seed dormancy and germination timing are strongly influenced by the environment experienced by the parental plant. This study will investigate the genetic control of seed dormancy and parental environmental effects on dormancy in the annual weed Arabidopsis thaliana, a species widely used for molecular genetic studies. Genetic mapping will identify chromosomal regions (quantitative trait loci or QTL) associated with variation in seasonal dormancy, parental environmental effects, and fitness under field conditions. Experimental manipulation of parental day length and the seasonal germination environment will investigate how parental environmental effects on seasonal dormancy influence survival and reproduction in the field. This study will be among the first to identify genes associated with seasonal dormancy, parental effects, and fitness under natural conditions. It will provide an important ecological context for numerous molecular genetic studies of development in A. thaliana. The results will elucidate the molecular basis and ecological context of a plant character crucial to survival and performance in variable environments. Appropriate germination responses to environmental cues may contribute to the persistence of plant populations in a variable environment or their expansion into novel habitats. The results of this study will be therefore be relevant for understanding the evolutionary dynamics of agricultural weeds and invasive plant species, as well as the management of rare or endangered plant populations in changing environments.
Effective start/end date8/1/007/31/04


  • National Science Foundation: $238,597.00


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