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Physiological Studies of Germination in the Genus Avena. I. The Development of Amylase Activity

Donald S. H. Drennan and Alex M. M. Berrie
The New Phytologist
Vol. 61, No. 1 (Mar., 1962), pp. 1-9
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the New Phytologist Trust
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2429881
Page Count: 9
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Physiological Studies of Germination in the Genus Avena. I. The Development of Amylase Activity
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Abstract

The development of amylase activity has been studied in dormant and germinating grains of Avena sativa, A. fatua and A. ludoviciana. Little activity was present in dry grains but activity increased considerably during the first few days in germination conditions in non-dormant grains. Dormant grains showed no increased activity during considerable periods in the imbibed condition. α-Amylase development was responsible for the bulk of the increased amylase activity but β-amylase development also occurred. The increased amylase activity was first noted in the endosperm and did not take place until after the resumption of growth in the embryo in all three species. Parts of grains of A. sativa cultured independently showed no capacity to develop increased amylase activity in a manner similar to that of the whole grain. It is suggested that the development of amylase activity is brought about in the endosperm in response to a stimulus from the growing embryo, and that development of increased amylase activity is thus a post-germination change. The association of this aspect of metabolism with the dormant condition in the wild oats must therefore be dismissed as a potential cause of dormancy.

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