← Back to list

Wageningen Seed Lab

Contact Details

Wageningen University

Droevendaalsesteeg 1 6708PB Wageningen

Dr. ir. W. Ligterink

0031 (0)317 482809

Hotel Description

The Wageningen Seed Lab is studying both fundamental and applied aspects of seed
biology. We are interested in mechanisms by which seeds sense the environment
and adjust their timing of germination so as to maximize the probability of
survival. The significance of our research is in the understanding key events
of seed dormancy and germination and other traits, but always with a view to
the ‘big picture’, relating molecular and cellular events to the physiological
changes that take place concurrently and in dependence of the (changing)
environment. To study these different aspects of seeds, we have invested in the
development of semi-automated scoring of germination. This facility is called
the “Germinator” and allows the acquisition of germination characteristics of
up to 2000 seed-batches simultaneously. It can be used for a wide variety of
plant species, automatically scores germination of seeds and uses the
cumulative germination data to automatically construct germination curves and to
extract numerous relevant germination characteristics like final germination
percentage, germination speed and uniformity.

  • Agri & Food
  • Automatic phenotyping of germination of a wide variety of plant species
  • Genetical genomics
  • Co-expression network analysis
  • Seed germination
  • Seed dormancy
  • Seed resilience
  • Natural variation
  • High-throughput phenotyping of germination

Expertise and Track Record

We are the only platform to offer semi-automatic
high-throughput scoring of germination in the Netherlands and world-wide we are
to our knowledge the only platform that can offer this kind of service on such
a large scale (up to 2000 tests simultaneous).

We have several publications involving the Germinator: As an example hereby one in Plant Journal in which we describe the system and one in Plant Physiology in which we use the system for high-througput phenotyping:
–         Joosen R.V.L., Kodde J., Willems L.A.J., Ligterink W., Van der Plas L.H.W. and Hilhorst H.W.M. (2010). Germinator: A software package for high-throughput scoring and curve fitting of Arabidopsis seed germination. Plant J. 62, 148-159.
–         Joosen R.V.L., Arends D., Willems L.A.J., Ligterink W., Jansen R.C. and Hilhorst H.W.M. (2011).
Visualizing the genetic landscape of Arabidopsis seed performance. Plant Phys. 158, 570-589.

Furthermore we were involved in 2 Enabling Technologies Platform Hotel Projects from CIPY in which we have been performing the germination experiments:
–         Project with Mark Aarts: Effect of organellar genomes on germination of Arabidopsis thaliana seeds under different environments
–         Project with Dick Vreugdenhil: The effect of transgenerational stress on germination in Arabidopsis thaliana

Yes, by combining germination data with data from GC-MS-TOF and microarray analysis. As described in

Joosen R.V.L., Arends D., Li Y.,Willems L.A.J., Keurentjes J.J.B., Ligterink W., Jansen R.C. and Hilhorst H.W.M. (2013). Identifying Genotype-by-Environment Interactions in the Metabolism of Germinating Arabidopsis Seeds Using Generalized Genetical Genomics. Plant Phys. 162, 553-566.

  • Carrillo-Barral N, Matilla AJ, Iglesias-Fernández R,Del Carmen Rodriguez-Gacio M 2013 Nitrate-induced early transcriptional changes during imbibition in non-after-ripened Sisymbrium officinale seeds. Physiologia Plantarum 148, 560-573.
  • Cruz VMV, Walters CT,Dierig DA 2013 Dormancy and after-ripening response of seeds from natural populations and conserved Physaria (syn. Lesquerella) germplasm and their association with environmental and plant parameters. Industrial Crops and Products 45, 191-199.
  • Groot SPC, Surki AA, De Vos RCH,Kodde J 2012 Seed storage at elevated partial pressure of oxygen, a fast method for analysing seed ageing under dry conditions. Annals of Botany 110, 1149-1159.
  • Iglesias-Fernández R, Barrero-Sicilia C, Carrillo-Barral N, Oñate-Sánchez L,Carbonero P 2013 Arabidopsis thaliana bZIP44: A transcription factor affecting seed germination and expression of the mannanase-encoding gene AtMAN7. Plant Journal 74, 767-780.
  • Lee KJD, Dekkers BJW, Steinbrecher T, Walsh CT, Bacic A, Bentsink L, Leubner-Metzger G,Paul Knox J 2012 Distinct cell wall architectures in seed endosperms in representatives of the Brassicaceae and Solanaceae. Plant Physiology 160, 1551-1566.
  • Nguyen TP, Keizer P, van Eeuwijk F, Smeekens S,Bentsink L 2012 Natural variation for seed longevity and seed dormancy are negatively correlated in arabidopsis. Plant Physiology 160, 2083-2092.
  • Liu Y, Geyer R, van Zanten M, Carles A, Li Y, Hörold A, van Nocker S,Soppe WJJ 2011 Identification of the Arabidopsis reduced dormancy 2 gene uncovers a role for the polymerase associated factor 1 complex in seed dormancy. PLoS ONE 6.

We were part of the CIPY call for Enabling Technologies Platform Hotel Projects of January 2013 as technology provider.

Hotel Characteristics

  • 1 dedicated postdoc
  • 2 dedicated technicians
  • 1 lab manager


  • -