14 January 2020
My research at Kew covers three main topics:
Global diversity of seed traits:
I am currently a Research Fellow in the Global Tree Seed Bank Programme funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation. As part of this programme, I am studying natural variation in seed coat hardness of woody species representing over 700 plant genera. The aim of this research is to understand the reasons for the natural diversity in this trait, with a particular focus on physical dormancy.
Seed storage survival:
In addition, I am studying whether seed volatile release under low pressure is associated with seed survival in space environments. This programme is funded by the UK Space Agency and is part of the pre-flight experiments needed for the GENESISS project (Germination after Extreme Natural Exposure of Seeds on the International Space Station), which was selected for spaceflight by the European Space Agency (flight dates to be determined).
Seed dormancy and stress tolerance:
Other research interests include seed tolerance of extreme temperatures, such as the resilience of succulent Aizoaceae and Cactaceae species to extremely hot and dry desert conditions, which may also break seed dormancy.
- PhD, Univ. Florida (USA), 2009
- BSc & MSc, Wageningen Univ. (Netherlands), 2003
Visscher, A. M., Boatfield, M., Klak, C., et al. (2022)
Physiological seed dormancy of Ruschia imbricata and Ruschia uitenhagensis (Aizoaceae) is broken by dry heat and unaffected by seasonality.
South African Journal of Botany 147: 457-466.
Gomez-Cabellos, S., Toorop, P. E., Cañal, M. J., Iannetta, P. P. M., Fernandez Pascual, E., Pritchard, H. W. & Visscher, A. M. (2021)
Global DNA methylation and cellular 5-methylcytosine and H4 acetylated patterns in primary and secondary dormant seeds of Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik. (shepherd’s purse).
Visscher, A. M., Latorre Frances, A., Yeo, M., et al. (2021)
Environmental and Experimental Botany 188: 104514
Visscher, A. M., Castillo‐Lorenzo, E., Toorop, P. E., et al. (2020)
Pseudophoenix ekmanii (Arecaceae) seeds at suboptimal temperature show reduced imbibition rates and enhanced expression of genes related to germination inhibition.
Plant Biology 22:1041-1051.
Visscher, A.M., Yeo, M., Gomez Barreiro, P., et al. (2018)
Dry heat exposure increases hydrogen peroxide levels and breaks physiological seed coat-imposed dormancy in Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (Aizoaceae) seeds
Environmental and Experimental Botany 155: 272-280.