How much influence does the paternal parent have on seed germination?

Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


It is well documented that the mother plant has much more influence than the father on seed dormancy/germination, especially of the F1 offspring, primarily by providing all material (maternally derived tissue) to the diaspore coat(s); by maternal environmental effects and provisioning of nutrient resources, mRNA transcripts, protein, the hormone abscisic acid and nitrate to the seed during its development; and by determining progeny environment via dispersal and phenology. There is some evidence that the paternal influence on seed dormancy/germination of the offspring (seeds) can be mediated through multiple paternity (including mate number and diversity), non-nuclear (cytoplasmic) and nuclear (genotypic) inheritance and paternal environmental effects. Our primary aim was to determine via a literature review the influence (or not) of the paternal parent on seed germination. Altogether, 37 of 59 studies (62.7%) indicated a positive influence of the father on seed germination, although not all of them were statistically significant. In general, however, results of studies reported in the literature do not offer strong support for the paternal parent having a major role in seed germination (or seed size) of his F1 offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSeed Science Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019.


  • genomic imprinting
  • multiple paternity
  • non-Mendelian genetic effects
  • parental conflict theory
  • quality of pollen donor
  • seed germination
  • seed provisioning
  • sepigenetic modification
  • transgenerational plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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