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Seed coats as an alternative molecular factory: thinking outside the box

Abstract : Key messageSeed coats as commodities.AbstractSeed coats play important roles in the protection of the embryo from biological attack and physical damage by the environment as well as dispersion strategies. A significant part of the energy devoted by the mother plant to seed production is channeled into the production of the cell layers and metabolites that surround the embryo. Nevertheless, in crop species these are often discarded post-harvest and are a wasted resource that could be processed to yield co-products. The production of novel compounds from existing metabolites is also a possibility. A number of macromolecules are already accumulated in these maternal layers that could be exploited in industrial applications either directly or via green chemistry, notably flavonoids, lignin, lignan, polysaccharides, lipid polyesters and waxes. Here, we summarize our knowledge of the in planta biosynthesis pathways of these macromolecules and their molecular regulation as well as potential applications. We also outline recent work aimed at providing further tools for increasing yields of existing molecules or the development of novel biotech approaches, as well as trial studies aimed at exploiting this underused resource.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 8:35:00 PM
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Edith Francoz, Loic Lepiniec, Helen North. Seed coats as an alternative molecular factory: thinking outside the box. Sexual Plant Reproduction, Springer Verlag, 2018, 31 (3), pp.327-342. ⟨10.1007/s00497-018-0345-2⟩. ⟨hal-02627507⟩



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