Elucidating hormonal/ROS networks during seed germination: insights and perspectives

Plant Cell Rep. 2013 Oct;32(10):1491-502. doi: 10.1007/s00299-013-1473-7. Epub 2013 Jun 29.


While authors have traditionally emphasized the deleterious effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on seed biology, their role as signaling molecules during seed dormancy alleviation and germination is now the focus of many studies around the world. Over the last few years, studies using "-omics" technologies together with physiological and biochemical approaches have revealed that seed germination is a very complex process that depends on multiple biochemical and molecular variables. The pivotal role of phytohormones in promoting germination now appears to be interdependent with ROS metabolism, involving mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade activation, gene expression and post-translational protein modifications. This review is, thus, an attempt to summarize the new discoveries involving ROS and seed germination. The study of these interactions may supply markers of seed quality that might eventually be used in breeding programs to improve crop yields.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Germination / physiology*
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System*
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Seeds / physiology*
  • Transcriptome


  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Proteome
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species
  • Reactive Oxygen Species