Mechanisms of Maturation and Germination in Crop Seeds Exposed to Environmental Stresses with a Focus on Nutrients, Water Status, and Reactive Oxygen Species

  • Yushi IshibashiEmail author
  • Takashi Yuasa
  • Mari Iwaya-Inoue
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1081)


Environmental stresses can reduce crop yield and quality considerably. Plants protect cell metabolism in response to abiotic stresses at all stages of their life cycle, including seed production. As the production of vigorous seeds is important to both yield and crop growth, we analyzed causes of yield loss and reduced grain quality in staple crops exposed to environmental stresses such as drought and temperature extremes, with a focus on the remobilization of nutrients and water status during seed filling. Because water is one of the factors that limit seed development, seeds must have mechanisms that allow them to withstand water loss during seed maturation. In addition, analysis of the effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on transcription regulation and signaling should help to elucidate the regulation of seed dormancy and germination. In this review, we focus on nutrient remobilization, water mobility, plant hormones (gibberellins, abscisic acid, and ethylene), and ROS in sink and source organs and describe how rice, wheat, barley, soybean, and cowpea plants control seed maturation and germination under environmental stresses.


Seed-filling stage Remobilization of nutrient Dormancy Germination ROS Oxidative window ABA GA Physical states of water Environmental stress Preharvest sprouting Seed quality Cowpea (Vigna unguiculataSoybean (Glycine maxRice (Oryza sativaWheat (Triticum aestivumBarley (Hordeum vulgare



Abscisic acid






1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase


Days after flowering


GA Myb transcription factor




Green stem syndrome


Hydrogen peroxide


Late embryogenesis abundant


NMR imaging


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Preharvest sprouting


Plasma membrane intrinsic protein


Protein kinase


ABA-responsive protein kinase


Reactive oxygen species


Sucrose transporter


NMR spin-lattice relaxation time


NMR spin-spin relaxation time


Tonoplast intrinsic protein



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grants Numbers JP16H04867 and JP16K14839 to M.I. I. and JP24780014 and JP16H06183 to Y.I.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yushi Ishibashi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Takashi Yuasa
    • 3
  • Mari Iwaya-Inoue
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Crop Science, Faculty of AgricultureKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of AgricultureMiyazaki UniversityMiyazakiJapan

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