More than just heat stress – sHsps are important in seed development

Seed development in Arabidopsis thaliana. The timing and relative expression levels of various proteins, including sHsps, is indicated.     Seed development is also stressful – seeds dry during maturation to less than 10% of total water content and then rehydrate in a matter of hours during germination. sHsps seem to play a role in late seed maturation processes, possibly involved in dormancy, desiccation tolerance and seed viability.

Expression of sHsp in Arabidopsis seeds. On the left, sHsps are present in all but the tip of the cotyledons and the tip of the radicle. A control seed is shown to the right.