It is generally believed that seed dormancy release is terminated by germination and that this process is controlled by phytohormones. Most attention was paid to gibberellins (GAs) because treatment with GAs is most frequently applied for seed dormancy breaking. The review characterizes the hormonal regulation of seed dormancy and its release, as exemplified by arabidopsis seeds possessing non-deep physiological dormancy. Dormancy release occurs under the influence of low temperature and/or illumination with red light. Two main trends are typical of this process: (1) a decrease in ABA content and blocking of signal transduction from ABA, and (2) GA synthesis and activation of GA signaling pathway. Dormancy release ends with the GA-induced syntheses of some proteins, enzymes in particular, required for the start of germination. Quiescent seeds are capable of realizing the germination program without hormonal induction, due to nothing but seed hydration. In imbibing seeds, the triggering role of water lies in the successive activation of basic metabolic systems after attaining the water content thresholds characteristic of these systems and in preparing cells of embryo axial organs for germination. Thus, seed dormancy release is controlled by phytohormones, whereas subsequent germination manifesting itself as the initiation of cell elongation in embryo axes is controlled by water inflow.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 15, 2012
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