Storage behavior and changes in concentrations of abscisic acid and gibberellins during dormancy break and germination in seeds of Phellodendron amurense var. wilsonii (Rutaceae)

Shun-Ying Chen, Ching-Te Chien, Jerry M Baskin, Carol C Baskin
Tree Physiology 2010, 30 (2): 275-84
The medicinal Asian plant genus Phellodendron is known to contain several very important compounds that have biological action. The main purpose of this study was to determine whether seeds of Phellodendron amurense var. wilsonii can be stored and to characterize their dormancy. Seeds of this taxon stored at -20 and -80 degrees C and in liquid nitrogen retained their high germinability, indicating that they have orthodox storage behavior. Intact seeds from freshly collected fruits were dormant and required 12 weeks of cold stratification at 4 degrees C for complete germination. Scarifying the seed coat was partially effective in breaking seed dormancy. Exogenous gibberellins (GA(3), GA(4) and GA(4+7)) promoted germination of scarified seeds, GA(4) and GA(4+7) being more effective than GA(3). Fluridone, an abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis inhibitor, was efficient in breaking dormancy, but it was less effective than GA(4) or GA(4+7) alone. Paclobutrazol, a GA biosynthesis inhibitor, inhibited seed germination, and the inhibitory effect was reversed completely by GA(4) and by GA(4+7). ABA content of seeds subjected to cold stratification or to incubation at 35/10 degrees C, which enhanced seed germination, was reduced about four- to sixfold compared to that of fresh seeds. Higher concentrations of GA(3), GA(4) and GA(7) were detected in nondormant seeds and in seeds with an emerged radicle than in fresh seeds. Present results seem to indicate that dormancy in P. amurense var. wilsonii seeds is imposed partially by the seed coat and partially by high ABA content. ABA content decreased and GA(3), GA(4) and GA(7) content increased during germination.

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