The role of light in regulating seed dormancy and germination

J Integr Plant Biol. 2020 Sep;62(9):1310-1326. doi: 10.1111/jipb.13001.


Seed dormancy is an adaptive trait in plants. Breaking seed dormancy determines the timing of germination and is, thereby essential for ensuring plant survival and agricultural production. Seed dormancy and the subsequent germination are controlled by both internal cues (mainly hormones) and environmental signals. In the past few years, the roles of plant hormones in regulating seed dormancy and germination have been uncovered. However, we are only beginning to understand how light signaling pathways modulate seed dormancy and interaction with endogenous hormones. In this review, we summarize current views of the molecular mechanisms by which light controls the induction, maintenance and release of seed dormancy, as well as seed germination, by regulating hormone metabolism and signaling pathways.

Keywords: crosstalk; germination; hormone; light signal; seed dormancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / radiation effects
  • Germination / radiation effects*
  • Plant Dormancy / radiation effects*
  • Seeds / physiology*
  • Seeds / radiation effects
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects