Plants find way to survive no matter the terrain

Deputy News Editor | Sindhooraa Satheesh


A joint team of researchers from Royal Holloway’s School of Biological Sciences and the University of Osnabrück in Germany have made an important discovery on seed biology; specifically, on the plant aethionema arabicumor stone cress.

It seems that the stone cress is unique in fruit and seed dispersal stages, and it in fact produces 2 types of fruits. Of these, the larger fruit opens via splitting, and contains slime-coated seeds that allow for them to adhere to the soil and germinate. The smaller fruit contains one non-coated seed that may be dispersed either by water or by wind. This discovery advances the knowledge of plant-climate interactions, and demonstrates that the stone cress is an excellent model for studying the role of bet-hedging to allow for plants to survive in inhospitable conditions

Waheed Arshad, from Royal Holloway’s School of Biological Sciences, received a travel grant to present this new and exciting knowledge at a major conference in Canada this past August. This research was made possible via the EU-funded SeedAdapt project, which investigates fruit and seed related traits which have evolved as adaptations to harsh climates.

You can find out more at the Royal Holloway School of Biological Sciences about their research into seed biology.

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