Preliminary Sessions Topics

Seed Developmental Systems
This section includes topics in seed development but with focus on how the cellular/developmental mechanisms integrate into systems to achieve the desired end, whether seed quality or crop yield. This includes systems biology with respect to transcriptomics and metabolomics, but also emphasizing how these systems could be utilized to increase seed yield or quality. This could include maternal/filial tissue interactions, whole plant source/sink relationships in seed development, and relationships of seed developmental regulation to other stages of the life cycle.
Seed Germination and Dormancy Systems
Research on germination and dormancy is evolving toward understanding how the key hormones (e.g., GA, ABA, ethylene) interact with other regulatory systems to convey environmental information to influence the decision to germinate. This includes systems interacting at the molecular, cellular or tissue levels to control the initiation of embryo expansion and more ecological or population level systems determining how environmental factors influence dormancy and germination in relation to environmental signals.
Seed Microbial Systems
There is strong interest in identifying microbes that have specific effects on plant growth or resistance to pathogens or pests. Many companies are pursuing biologically based approaches to protect plants or stimulate their growth. Seeds are expected to be a critical delivery system for establishing beneficial microbes in the field, as has long been the case for Rhizobium, for example, but experience to date suggests that this will not be simple to achieve, and more information is needed on how the seed microflora interacts with the soil microflora. This program section would focus on seed/microbe interactions, including both beneficial microbes and pathogenic ones.
Seed Ecological Systems
Seed ecology clearly lends itself to the “systems” theme, and the impacts of climate change on seeds in natural and agricultural systems are of importance. The focus would be on ecosystem-level changes as impacted by climate and the physiological systems that determine seed responses, issues for vegetation restoration, invasive weed control.
Seed Conservation Systems
The majority of crop germplasm is conserved as seeds, made possible by the developmental, physiological and biophysical systems that enable desiccation tolerance and longevity of dry seeds. These traits and their impacts should be considered in collection or reproduction of materials for storage or conservation. Biophysical systems are also prominent in seed storage conditions, in contrast to the metabolic systems normally focused on in seed biology (Walters et al., 2010). Reactive oxygen species represent a unique system that can span from the biophysical to the metabolic realms. Understanding how these different systems interact is critical to extending storage techniques to recalcitrant seeds, meristems or tissue cultures that currently are difficult to preserve (Walters et al., 2013).
Seed Scanning Systems
There are a number of nondestructive scanning technologies that are being adapted to visualize, measure, categorize and sort seeds. These technologies can identify diseased seeds, internal deficiencies, and compositional differences among seeds. Raman spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, hyperspectral imaging, and chlorophyll florescence are some of the promising technologies available that can be applied to seed technology to improve quality. These technologies can also assist seed analysts to detect foreign matter and weed seeds in seed samples and in quality assessment of commercial commodities (e.g., rice grain). This session will be co-sponsored by the International Seed Testing Association.
ISSS Preliminary Conference Program/Schedule

Prelim schedule & session topics now available