Reduced seed germination in Arabidopsis over-expressing SWI/SNF2 ATPase genes

Hendrika A.C.F. Leeggangers, Adam Folta, Aleksandra Muras, Jan Peter Nap, Ludmila Mlynarova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the life of flowering plants, seed germination is a critical step to ensure survival into the next generation. Generally the seed prior to germination has been in a dormant state with a low rate of metabolism. In the transition from a dormant seed to a germinating seed, various epigenetic mechanisms play a regulatory role. Here, we demonstrate that the over-expression of chromatin remodeling ATPase genes (AtCHR12 or AtCHR23) reduced the frequency of seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana up to 30% relative to the wild-type seeds. On the other hand, single loss-of-function mutations of the two genes did not affect seed germination. The reduction of germination in over-expressing mutants was more pronounced in stress conditions (salt or high temperature), showing the impact of the environment. Reduced germinations upon over-expression coincided with increased transcript levels of seed maturation genes and with reduced degradation of their mRNAs stored in dry seeds. Our results indicate that repression of AtCHR12/23 gene expression in germinating wild-type Arabidopsis seeds is required for full germination. This establishes a functional link between chromatin modifiers and regulatory networks towards seed maturation and germination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-326
JournalPsysiologia plantarum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • seed germination
  • arabidopsis thaliana
  • mutations
  • chromatin modifiers


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