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Regulation of seed germination and seedling growth by chemical signals from burning vegetation


Nelson, DC and Flematti, GR and Ghisalberti, EL and Dixon, KW and Smith, SM, Regulation of seed germination and seedling growth by chemical signals from burning vegetation, Annual Review of Plant Biology, 63 pp. 107-130. ISSN 1543-5008 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Annual Reviews

DOI: doi:10.1146/annurev-arplant-042811-105545


It is well known that burning of vegetation stimulates new plant growth and landscape regeneration. The discovery that char and smoke from such fires promote seed germination in many species indicates the presence of chemical stimulants. Nitrogen oxides stimulate seed germination, but their importance in post-fire germination has been questioned. Cyanohydrins have been recently identified in aqueous smoke solutions and shown to stimulate germination of some species through the slow release of cyanide. However, the most information is available for karrikins, a family of butenolides related to 3-methyl-2H-furo[2,3-c]pyran-2-one. Karrikins stimulate seed germination and influence seedling growth. They are active in species not normally associated with fire, and in Arabidopsis they require the F-box protein MAX2, which also controls responses to strigolactone hormones. We hypothesize that chemical similarity between karrikins and strigolactones provided the opportunity for plants to employ a common signal transduction pathway to respond to both types of compound, while tailoring specific developmental responses to these distinct environmental signals.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seed germination, seedling development, chemical signals, fire, smoke, karrikins, cyanohydrins, strigolactones
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Smith, SM (Professor Steven Smith)
ID Code:101458
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:177
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2015-06-24
Last Modified:2017-11-02

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