The role of the pod in seed development: strategies for manipulating yield


Author for correspondence:
Carol Wagstaff
Tel: +44 118 378 5362



II.Pod structure and development839
III.The pod as a sink in plant resource allocation840
IV.Resource transport into the seeds via the pod842
V.Pod senescence and dehiscence843
VI.The role of plant phytohormones in pod development845
VII.Silique biosynthesis of compounds for the seed848


Pods play a key role in encapsulating the developing seeds and protecting them from pests and pathogens. In addition to this protective function, it has been shown that the photosynthetically active pod wall contributes assimilates and nutrients to fuel seed growth. Recent work has revealed that signals originating from the pod may also act to coordinate grain filling and regulate the reallocation of reserves from damaged seeds to those that have retained viability. In this review we consider the evidence that pods can regulate seed growth and maturation, particularly in members of the Brassicaceae family, and explore how the timing and duration of pod development might be manipulated to enhance either the quantity of crop yield or its nutritional properties.