Comparative requirement for endogenous ethylene during seed germination

Sylvie Lalonde, Hargurdeep S. Saini

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Requirement for endogenous ethylene during seed germination of the following ten species was determined: Lycopersicon escuienlum Mill, (tomato), Allium cepa L. (onion), Avena fatua L., dormant pure line AN-51 (wild oats), Cucumis sativus L. (cucumber), Smapis arvensis L. (wild mustard), Tageles erectu L. (mangold), Raphanus sativus L. (radish), Tnlicum aeslivum L. (wheat), Catharanthus roseus L. (periwinkle), and Phaseolus aureus L (mung bean). Experiments were done under controlled conditions suited for the germination of each species. Criteria used to determine the need for endogenous ethylene were: (i) temporal relationship between ethylene production and seed germination; (ii) parallel inhibition of ethylene synthesis and seed germination by L-a-(2-aminoethoxyvinyl)-glycine or CoClj; (iii) inhibition of seed germination by 2,5-norbomadiene, a competitive inhibitor of ethylene action; and (iv) prevention by exogenous ethylene of the effects of each inhibitor on germination. All the species produced ethylene in amounts that increased concomitantly with germination. According to all the criteria used, ethylene synthesis and action were found to be necessary for the germination of T. erecta. Norbomadiene inhibited the germination of R. sativus, T. aestivum and C. roseus, and exogenous ethylene overcame this inhibition. However, inhibitors of ethylene synthesis generally did not affect the germination of these species. One exception was the inhibition of R. sativus germination by CoClj, but this was not overcome by exogenous ethylene, indicating that CoCl, did not act specifically by blocking ethylene synthesis. In all other species, ethylene produced by seeds appears to play no role in germination. The results show that there is no general requirement for endogenous ethylene during germination, even though all species studied so far produce ethylene. This requirement is also not linked specifically to dormancy breakage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-428
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Botany
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes


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