International Journal of Molecular Sciences
School of Science
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. The success of seed germination and the successful establishment of seedlings across diverse environmental conditions depends on seed vigour, which is of both economic and ecologic importance. The smoke-derived exogenous compound karrikins (KARs) and the endogenous plant hormone strigolactone (SL) are two classes of butanolide-containing molecules that follow highly similar signalling pathways to control diverse biological activities in plants. Unravelling the precise mode-of-action of these two classes of molecules in model species has been a key research objective. However, the specific and dynamic expression of biomolecules upon stimulation by these signalling molecules remains largely unknown. Genomic and post-genomic profiling approaches have enabled mining and association studies across the vast genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity. Here, we review the background of smoke-assisted germination and vigour and the current knowledge of how plants perceive KAR and SL signalling and initiate the crosstalk with the germination-associated hormone pathways. The recent advancement of ‘multi-omics’ applications are discussed in the context of KAR signalling and with relevance to their adoption for superior agronomic trait development. The remaining challenges and future opportunities for integrating multi-omics datasets associated with their application in KAR-dependent seed germination and abiotic stress tolerance are also discussed.
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