Planta

, Volume 219, Issue 3, pp 479–488

Changes in endogenous abscisic acid levels during dormancy release and maintenance of mature seeds: studies with the Cape Verde Islands ecotype, the dormant model of Arabidopsis thaliana

  • Sonia Ali-Rachedi
  • Denise Bouinot
  • Marie-Hélène Wagner
  • Magda Bonnet
  • Bruno Sotta
  • Philippe Grappin
  • Marc Jullien
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00425-004-1251-4

Cite this article as:
Ali-Rachedi, S., Bouinot, D., Wagner, MH. et al. Planta (2004) 219: 479. doi:10.1007/s00425-004-1251-4

Abstract

Mature seeds of the Cape Verde Islands (Cvi) ecotype of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. show a very marked dormancy. Dormant (D) seeds completely fail to germinate in conditions that are favourable for germination whereas non-dormant (ND) seeds germinate easily. Cvi seed dormancy is alleviated by after-ripening, stratification, and also by nitrate or fluridone treatment. Addition of gibberellins to D seeds does not suppress dormancy efficiently, suggesting that gibberellins are not directly involved in the breaking of dormancy. Dormancy expression of Cvi seeds is strongly dependent on temperature: D seeds do not germinate at warm temperatures (20–27°C) but do so easily at a low temperature (13°C) or when a fluridone treatment is given to D seeds sown at high temperature. To investigate the role of abscisic acid (ABA) in dormancy release and maintenance, we measured the ABA content in both ND and D seeds imbibed using various dormancy-breaking conditions. It was found that dry D seeds contained higher amounts of ABA than dry ND after-ripened seeds. During early imbibition in standard conditions, there was a decrease in ABA content in both seeds, the rate of which was slower in D seeds. Three days after sowing, the ABA content in D seeds increased specifically and then remained at a high level. When imbibed with fluridone, nitrate or stratified, the ABA content of D seeds decreased and reached a level very near to that of ND seeds. In contrast, gibberellic acid (GA3) treatment caused a transient increase in ABA content. When D seeds were sown at low optimal temperature their ABA content also decreased to the level observed in ND seeds. The present study indicates that Cvi D and ND seeds can be easily distinguished by their ability to synthesize ABA following imbibition. Treatments used here to break dormancy reduced the ABA level in imbibed D seeds to the level observed in ND seeds, with the exception of GA3 treatment, which was active in promoting germination only when ABA synthesis was inhibited.

Keywords

Abscisic acidArabidopsisDormancyGibberellinNitrateTemperature

Abbreviations

ABA

Abscisic acid

Cvi

Cape Verde Islands

D

Dormant

GA

Gibberellin

GA3

Gibberellic acid

ND

Non dormant

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia Ali-Rachedi
    • 1
  • Denise Bouinot
    • 1
  • Marie-Hélène Wagner
    • 3
  • Magda Bonnet
    • 4
  • Bruno Sotta
    • 4
  • Philippe Grappin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marc Jullien
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.UER de Physiologie Végétale, INA-PGUMR INRA-INAPG Biologie des SemencesParis Cedex 05France
  2. 2.UMR INRA-INAPG Biologie des SemencesVersailles CedexFrance
  3. 3.GEVES-SNESBeaucouzé CedexFrance
  4. 4.UMR de Physiologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire des Plantes, Laboratoire de Physiologie du Développement des PlantesUniversité Pierre et Marie Curie (PVI)Paris Cedex 05France