In recalcitrant seeds of horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum L.) maintaining a high water content during winter, dormancy is determined by the presence and influence of the seed coat, while the axial organs of the embryos excised from these seeds are not dormant. Such axial organs were capable for active water uptake and rapid fresh weight increase, so that their fresh weights exceeded those in intact seeds at the time of radicle protrusion. Fructose plays an essential role in the water uptake as a major osmotically active compound. ABA interferes with the water uptake by the axial organs and thus delays the commencement of their growth. The manifestation of seed response to ABA during the entire dormancy period indicates the presence of active ABA receptors and the pathways of its signal transduction. The content of endogenous ABA in the embryo axes doubled in the middle of dormancy period, which coincided with a partial suppression of water uptake by the axes. During seed dormancy release and imbibition before radicle protrusion, the level of endogenous ABA in axes declined gradually. Application of exogenous ABA can imitate dormancy by limiting water absorption by axial organs. Fusicoccin A (FC A) treatment neutralized completely this ABA effect. Endogenous FC-like ligands were detected in the seed axial organs during dormancy release and germination. Apparently, endogenous FC stimulates water uptake via the activation of plasmalemmal H+-ATPase, acidification of cell walls, their loosening, and turgor pressure reduction. FC can evidently counteract the ABA-induced suppression of water uptake by controlling the activity of H+-ATPase. It is likely that, in dormant intact recalcitrant seeds, axial organs, maintaining a high water content, are competent to elevate their water content and to start their preparation for germination under the influence of FC when coat-imposed dormancy becomes weaker.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 23, 2004
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