Seed germination performance is a major determinant of crop yield. Deterioration of seed quality with age is associated with accumulation of DNA damage .  In dry, aging rye seeds, DNA damages occur with loss of viability of embryos.  Dry seeds of Vicia faba accumulate DNA damage with time in storage, and undergo DNA repair upon germination.  In Arabidopsis , a DNA ligase is employed in repair of DNA single- and double-strand breaks during seed germination and this ligase is an important determinant of seed longevity.  In eukaryotes , the cellular repair response to DNA damage is orchestrated, in part, by the DNA damage checkpoint kinase ATM . ATM has a major role in controlling germination of aged seeds by integrating progression through germination with the repair response to DNA damages accumulated during the dry quiescent state. 
Brassinosteroids are plant-growth-promoting natural products similar in structure to animal and insect steroid hormones. Considered a new class of plant hormone, along with auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins, abscisic acid, and ethylene, brassinosteroids are present throughout the plant kingdom. They show distinct physiological effects on plant growth including improvement of stress tolerance in crop production. These discoveries, together with advances in molecular and biosynthetic studies of brassinosteroids, open new aspects of research in understanding the growth and development of plants. This book presents a comprehensive view of the related chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, agricultural applications, and most recent research in molecular biology. Written by scientists who are active in these fields, Brassinosteroids is a vital source of information for plant and agricultural science researchers with an interest in plant hormones.
When D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s On Growth and Form was published 100 years ago, it raised the question of how biological forms arise during development and across evolution. In light of the advances in molecular and cellular biology since then, a succinct modern view of the question states: how do genes encode geometry? Our new special issue is packed with articles that use mathematical and physical approaches to gain insights into cell and tissue patterning, morphogenesis and dynamics, and that provide a physical framework to capture these processes operating across scales.