The conventional understanding of the role of the seed coat is that it provides a protective layer for the developing zygote. Recent data show that the picture is more nuanced. The seed coat certainly represents a first line of defense against adverse external factors, but it also acts as channel for transmitting environmental cues to the interiorof the seed.The latter function primes the seed to adjust its metabolism in response to changes in its external environment.The purpose of this review is to provide the reader with a comprehensive view of the structure and functionality of the seed coat, and to expose its hidden interaction with both the endosperm and embryo. Any breeding and/or biotechnology intervention seeking to increase seed size or modify seed features will have to consider the implications on this tripartite interaction.
Radchuk, V., & Borisjuk, L. (2014). Physical, metabolic and developmental functions of the seed coat. Frontiers in Plant Science, 5(OCT). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2014.00510