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Embryos of seeds die at different rates under different conditions. The amount of water they receive determines the extent of cell hydration, and this in turn determines the pattern of degradation of genomic DNA whether by DNase nucleosomecleavage or by random fragmentation. Progress of the first cell cycle to the first mitotic divisions is dictated by water availability in accelerated aged and primed seeds. The loss of desiccation tolerance at the border of G2M and cytokinesis is discussed in relation to nucleases, DNA conformation, DNA damage, and stages of arrest in the first cell cycle.

Affiliations: 1: Oxford Research Unit, The Open University, Foxcombe Hall, Boars Hill, Oxford, OX1 5HR, UK


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