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Modulation of germination of embryos isolated from dormant and nondormant barley grains by manipulation of endogenous abscisic acid

Mei Wang, Sjoukje Heimovaara-Dijkstra and Bert Van Duijn
Planta
Vol. 195, No. 4 (1995), pp. 586-592
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23383315
Page Count: 7
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Modulation of germination of embryos isolated from dormant and nondormant barley grains by manipulation of endogenous abscisic acid
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Abstract

Dormant and non-dormant barley (Hordeum distichum L.) grains with identical genetic backgrounds were obtained by maturing grains under different climate conditions. When isolated embryos from dormant grains were incubated in a well containing a fixed volume of water (300 μl), the germination rate and percentage were dependent on the embryo number per well. A higher embryo number per well was correlated with a lower germination rate and percentage. However, this was not the case for the embryos isolated from nondormant grains. During germination, the endogenous cis-abscisic acid (ABA) in isolated embryos from both dormant and nondormant grains was analyzed. The inhibitory effect on germination of a higher number per well of isolated dormant embryos was due to diffusion of endogenous ABA out of the embryos and accumulation of ABA in the incubation medium. Moreover, there was de-novo synthesis of ABA in embryos isolated from dormant grains during incubation but not in embryos isolated from nondormant grains. The inhibitory effect of ABA on germination of embryos isolated from dormant grains could be mimicked by addition of ABA or the medium in which dormant embryos had been placed. Embryos isolated from nondormant grains were insensitive to addition of ABA and medium from dormant embryos. Our results demonstrate that diffusion of endogenous ABA, de-novo ABA synthesis and ABA sensitivity play a role in the control of germination. It is proposed that dormancy-breaking treatments act via changes to these processes.

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