Submitted to: Weed Science
Publication Type: Research notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2000
Publication Date: 3/10/2002
Citation: Foley, M.E. 2002. Introduction to the symposium on dormancy in seeds and vegetative propagules. Weed Science 50:214. Interpretive Summary: Dormancy is a critical factor for the survival and persistence of weedy species. Understanding signals, pathways and mechanisms for dormancy in weed seeds and vegetative propagules is an important step toward developing new strategies for weed management. The fundamental mechanisms governing dormancy in weeds are difficult to study because few genetic resources have been developed for weeds. Weed scientist should consider using one of several domesticated plant species such as rice and potato as models to investigate dormancy in weed seeds and vegetative propagules, respectively.
Technical Abstract: The goal of this symposium is to stimulate interest within the weed science community for investigating fundamental biological mechanisms governing dormancy in weed seeds and vegetative propagules. Dormancy is of intrinsic interest to weed scientists because it is a common characteristic of weeds and is one of the major reasons why weeds escape control by conventional weed control measures. Since the last symposium on seed dormancy at a WSSA meeting about 17 years ago, fundamental research on the biological basis for dormancy has increased and new knowledge is being developed as scientists apply the modern tools and approaches of biochemistry, molecular biology, and genomics. Many of these tools and approaches are not familiar to weed scientists. Thus, the objectives of this symposium are to present current research and approaches for investigating the fundamental biological aspects of dormancy, and to foster interaction between researchers from various disciplines conducting fundamental research on dormancy. Most of the fundamental research on dormancy is conducted by scientists from disciplines other than weed science. Unless a weed scientist attends one of the international scientific meetings devoted to dormancy, he or she may not have the opportunity to meet the principal investigators and learn about new approaches, model systems, and research results. Through the generosity of grants from USDA-National Research Inititative , Weed Science Society of America, and USDA-Agricultural Research Service, a variety of scientists from outside the weed science community were brought together to present their research on the various facets of dormancy in several different plant species. Subjects discussed include: a) systems, approaches, and techniques used to investigate fundamental mechanisms of dormancy, b) bio-chemical, molecular, and genetic basis for dormancy in seeds and buds, c) molecular markers for genes associated with dormancy, d) cloning genes associated with dormancy in seeds and buds, and e) opportunities for investigating dormancy in annual and perennial weeds.