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photochem_sep16_small.jpgUltraweak photon emissions from the seed coat in response to temperature and humidity – a potential mechanism for environmental signal transduction in the soil seed bank

Footitt S, Palleschi S, Fazio E, Palomba R, Finch-Savage WE, Silvestroni L

Seeds beneath the soil sense the changing environment to time germination and seedling emergence with the optimum time of year for survival. Environmental signals first impact with the seed at the seed coat. We hypothesize that beneath the soil surface the attenuation of light (virtual darkness: low background noise) enables seeds to exploit UPE for transducing key environmental variables in the soil (temperature, humidity and oxygen) to inform them of seasonal and local temperature patterns. Overall, seed coats were found to have potential as effective transducers of key fluctuating environmental variables in the soil.

Photochemistry & Photobiology, September/October 2016

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