Variability in seeds: biological, ecological, and agricultural implications

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Variability is observed in biology across multiple scales, ranging from populations, individuals, and cells to the molecular components within cells. This review explores the sources and roles of this variability across these scales, focusing on seeds. From a biological perspective, the role and the impact this variability has on seed behaviour and adaptation to the environment is discussed. The consequences of seed variability on agricultural production systems, which demand uniformity, are also examined. We suggest that by understanding the basis and underlying mechanisms of variability in seeds, strategies to increase seed population uniformity can be developed, leading to enhanced agricultural production across variable climatic conditions.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Early online date26 Oct 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Oct 2016