Ethylene production is associated with germination but not seed dormancy in red rice
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SourceAnnals of Botany, 99, 4, (2007), pp. 735-745
Article / Letter to editor
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Molecular and Laser Physics
Annals of Botany
SubjectMolecular and Laser Physics
Background and Aims The relationship between ethylene production and both seed dormancy and germination was investigated using red rice (weedy rice) as a model species. Methods Both fully dormant and after-ripened (non-dormant) naked caryopses were incubated with or without inhibitors of ethylene synthesis [aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG)] and perception [silver thiosulfate (STS)], or in the presence of the natural ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC). The kinetics of ethylene emissions were measured with a sensitive laser-photoacoustic system. Key Results Dormant red rice caryopses did not produce ethylene. In non-dormant caryopses, ethylene evolution never preceded the first visible stage of germination (pericarp splitting), and ethylene inhibitors completely blocked ethylene production, but not pericarp splitting. Accordingly, endogenous ACC appeared to be lacking before pericarp splitting. However, early seedling growth (radicle or coleoptile attaining the length of I mm) followed ethylene evolution and was delayed by the inhibitors, Wounding the dormant caryopses induced them to germinate and produce ethylene, but their germination was slow and pericarp splitting could be speeded up by ethylene. Conclusions The findings suggest that, in red rice, endogenous ethylene stimulates the growth of the nascent seedling, but does not affect seed dormancy or germination inception. Correspondingly, this phytohormone does not play a role in the dormancy breakage induced by wounding, but accelerates germination after such breakage has occurred.
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