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Seed Science Group

 

  Bill Finch-Savage 
Prof. Bill Finch-Savage
Contact Details
Email: bill.finch-savage@warwick.ac.uk
School of Life Sciences
Wellesbourne Campus
University of Warwick
Wellesbourne
Warwick
CV35 9EF
UK
Tel: +44 (0) 24 7657 4968
Fax: +44 (0) 24 7657 4500
S. Footitt
Dr. Steven Footitt
Contact Details
School of Life Sciences
Wellesbourne Campus
University of Warwick
Wellesbourne
Warwick
CV35 9EF
UK
Tel: +44 (0) 24 7657 4980
Fax: +44 (0) 24 7657 4500
 
Dormancy cycling and the timing of seedling emergence are important agricultural and ecological traits
The quality of seeds and how they perform in practice directly affect crop production efficiency through their impact on seedling establishment. For example, in field crops the timely establishment of seedlings at the correct density increases total yield per unit area and therefore reduces the amount of chemical inputs and land required for crop production. In addition, where crops are harvested as individual plants (most vegetables) the uniformity of seedling emergence greatly influences the marketable yield and therefore their profitability. High seed quality and good seedling establishment are of equal importance in protected cropping, amenity horticulture, forestry and forest restoration.

 

Physiological seed dormancy is present throughout the higher plants and has a profound impact on many aspects of crop production and the structure of plant communities in the natural environment. Despite this, our understanding of dormancy is limited. Little is known about how dormancy is controlled at the molecular level or how dormancy mechanisms interact with the soil environment to determine patterns of seedling emergence.

Current research interests:

 View a recent BBC interview on weed emergence and climate change:

How do weed seeds know spring is here? BBC Midlands Today interview with Bill Finch-Savage and Steve Footitt featuring the thermal gradient tunnels at Warwick Crop Centre.

Click on the titles below for brief articles on other aspects of our current work:

Current Ph. D. Projects

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Congratulations to Dr Ziyue Huang who recently defended her dissertation "Characterisation of dormancy cycling resposnses to environmnetal signals in contrasting Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes"

Dr. Huangs' research was funded by a Warwick Postgraduate Research Scholarship.

 Posters

  1. Dormancy cycling of Brassicaceae species in the field: impact of thermal gradients and nitrate on seeds during annual cycles. (PDF Document) Steven Footitt, Heather Clay, Katherine Dent, Andrew Mead and Bill Finch-Savage
  2. A trait-led approach which exploits natural variation inseed vigour to enhance crop establishment. (PDF Document) K. Morris, K.C. Dent, J. Lynn. G.C. Barker,H.A. Clay, E.C. Howell and W.E. Finch-Savage
  3. Patterns of seed dormancy cycling in species of the Brassicaceae. (PDF Document) Steven Footitt, Heather Clay, Katherine Dent, and Bill Finch-Savage

Selected Publications

Further selected publications