The interaction between genotype and maternal nutritional environments affects tomato seed and seedling quality

Nafiseh Geshnizjani, Saadat Sarikhani Khorami, Leo A J Willems, Basten L Snoek, Henk W M Hilhorst, Wilco Ligterink

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Seed and seedling traits are affected by the conditions of the maternal environment, such as light, temperature and nutrient availability. In this study, we have investigated whether different maternally applied nitrate and phosphate concentrations affect the seed and seedling performance of two closely related tomato species: Solanum lycopersicum cv. Money maker and Solanum pimpinellifolium accession CGN14498. We observed large differences for seed and seedling traits between the two species. Additionally, we have shown that for nitrate most of the seed and seedling traits were significantly affected by genotype by environment interactions (G×E). The effect of the maternal environment was clearly visible in the primary metabolites of the dry seeds. For example, we could show that the amount of -aminobutyric acid (GABA) in Money maker seeds was affected by the differences in the maternal environments and was positively correlated with seed germination under high temperature. Overall, compared to phosphate, nitrate had a larger effect on seed and seedling performance in tomato. In general, the different responses to the maternal environments of the two tomato species show a major role of genotype by environment interactions in shaping seed and seedling traits.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 02 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


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