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Wageningen researchers have discovered a previously unnoticed component within the thale cress: a thin film that encases the embryo in the seed. This discovery is particularly noteworthy because this species has been intensively studied for five decades. The newfound knowledge about the component could aid seed and breeding companies in maintaining the health of their seeds and plants.
Researchers from Dolf Weijers' biochemistry group and Joris Sprakel's mechanobiology group detailed their findings in the journal Development. Although the exact role of this newly discovered component is not yet clear, scientists suspect that the embryonic envelope acts as a type of straitjacket, ensuring the embryo maintains the correct shape during its development.