Alleviation of salt stress-induced inhibition of seed germination in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) by ethylene and glutamate

Chenshuo Chang, Baolan Wang, Lei Shi, Yinxin Li, Lian Duo, Wenhao Zhang
Journal of Plant Physiology 2010 September 15, 167 (14): 1152-6
Ethylene is an important plant gas hormone, and the amino acid Glu is emerging as a messenger molecule in plants. To evaluate the role of ethylene and Glu in seed germination and radicle growth under salt stress, effects of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), Ethephon and Glu on germination and radicle growth of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seeds in the absence and presence of 200 mM NaCl were investigated. Seed germination was markedly inhibited by salt stress, and this effect was alleviated by ACC and Ethephon. In contrast to seed germination, ACC and Ethephon had little effect on radicle growth under salt stress. In addition to ethylene, we found exogenous supply of Glu was effective in alleviating the salt stress-induced inhibition of seed germination and radicle growth. The effect of Glu on the seed germination and radicle growth was specific to L-Glu, whereas D-Glu and Gln had no effect. There was an increase in ethylene production during seed imbibition, and salt stress suppressed ethylene production. Exogenous L-Glu evoked ethylene evolution from the imbibed seeds and attenuated the reduction in ethylene evolution induced by salt stress. The alleviative effect of L-Glu on seed germination was diminished by antagonists of ethylene synthesis, aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) and CoCl(2), suggesting that L-Glu is likely to exert its effect on seed germination by modulation of ethylene evolution. These findings demonstrate that ethylene is associated with suppression of seed germination under salt stress and that L-Glu interacts with ethylene in regulation of seed germination under salt stress.

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