Dormancy release, ABA and pre-harvest sprouting

Frank Gubler*, Anthony A. Millar, John V. Jacobsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

371 Citations (Scopus)


Seed dormancy is an adaptive trait that enables the seeds of many species to remain quiescent until conditions become favorable for germination. Dormancy is normally initiated during seed maturation and maintained to seed maturity. In mature seeds, the loss of dormancy may be gradual (after-ripening) or can be terminated by chilling and other environmental triggers. Dormancy is an important trait for many important crop species: it inhibits pre-harvest spouting or vivipary, a widespread problem in many regions of the world. Too much dormancy, however, can lead to non-uniform germination in the field. Recent progress has been made in understanding the role of abscisic acid metabolism and dormancy release in both model plants and crop species. Advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that are involved in dormancy, along with approaches using quantitative genetics, will provide new strategies through which the desired level of dormancy can be introduced into crop species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Plant Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


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