Seed germination illustrates that vital energy is the essentiality of life.
“Seeds preserve a far developed plant embryo in a quiescent state. Seed metabolism relies on stored resources and is reactivated to drive germination when external conditions are favorable. The switchover from quiescence to reactivation is a sharp transition,” observed German botanist Markus Schwarzländer.
Dormancy is the suspension of life. Resuscitation converts inert matter into a life form. This miracle of life – of going from dust to alive-and-kicking – has been observed in numerous organisms, from bacteria to tardigrades.
The modus operandi of seed plants is to await sufficient moisture before launching into living. Seeds have enough food stored to get started. The exploration from initial germination is for mineral resources in the soil which can sustain development. As soon as possible, a plant reaches for the sky – relying upon sunlight to power its energy production.
A parched seed waits for the right conditions. When liquid chances upon a dry seed, proteins on the surface of a seed coat pass the juicy molecules on to the inside, to certain proteins in the embryo – specifically, sentinel mitochondrial proteins, which decide if the sauce is good. If the liquid is approved, and other circumstances agreeable, these proteins strike up the band: waking up their cohorts to crank the cellular engine and start producing ATP, life’s energetic coin of the realm. Once the mitochondria get going, the embryonic cells wake up. The seed comes alive.
Behind observable physical mechanics are coherent energy forces which are integrated from the molecular level to the integrity of multicellular organisms. Physiology alone cannot explain how life could even exist. Though awash in molecular activity which may be sussed, life is a miracle of unseeable vitality.
Ishi Nobu, Unraveling Reality: Behind the Veil of Existence, BookBaby (2019).
Ishi Nobu, The Science of Existence, BookBaby (2019).
Ishi Nobu, The Web of Life, BookBaby (2019).
Thomas Nietzel et al, “Redox-mediated kick-start of mitochondrial energy metabolism drives resource-efficient seed germination,” PNAS (23 December 2019).
“New insights into the earliest events of seed germination,” ScienceDaily (27 December 2019).