It was shown that the content of carbohydrates and their composition in embryo axes of horse chestnut seeds changed as seeds acquired a capability of dormancy release and germination. Sucrose prevailed among carbohydrates, comprising to 150–160 mg/g dry wt. During the first half of the seed imbibition time, oligosaccharides, namely raffinose and stachyose, degraded, whereas the contents of glucose and fructose were very low. The second half of the imbibition period (until radicle protrusion) was characterized by a cessation of oligosaccharide breakdown and accumulation of monosaccharides. Carbohydrate balance showed that the contribution of oligosaccharide breakdown to sucrose and monosaccharide accumulation was rather small, and monosaccharides accumulated mostly at the expense of sucrose gradually coming from cotyledons during imbibition. The trend of carbohydrate metabolism in imbibing axial organs was similar during the entire period of a seed dormancy release in the course of stratification. A readiness for the commencement of these processes during the entire dormancy period implies that carbohydrate conversions in embryo axes are not a trigger for a dormancy release. Monosaccharide accumulation in embryo axes before radicle protrusion produces an increase in the osmotic pressure, as compared to that provided by sucrose, by approximately 20%. Recalcitrance of the horse chestnut seeds is discussed in relation to the role of carbohydrates and other endogenous osmotica in the establishment of osmotic properties.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 26, 2006
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