, Volume 197, Issue 2, pp 271-280

Dynamics of nutrient remobilisation from seed of wheat genotypes during imbibition, germination and early seedling growth

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The changes in nutrient content of grain tissues and seedling parts of two wheat genotypes (Triticum aestivum L., Excalibur and Janz) with low or high seed Zn content were followed from imbibition to early seedling development (12 days). The grains were separated into seed coat, endosperm and embryo, while the seedlings were separated into roots and shoots. The dry weight of the seed coat did not change throughout the experimental period, whereas the endosperm weight declined rapidly from day 4 onward. The weight of embryo did not show any difference between and within cultivars. About a half of seed Zn was remobilised into shoot and roots during 12 days of growth, regardless of the initial seed Zn content in both genotypes. The seed coat contained 55–77% of the total seed nutrients in the two wheat genotypes, except in the case of S (around 40%). Manganese, Fe, Ca, K, and P were remobilised effectively from the seed coat as well as from the endosperm, while remobilisation of Zn and Cu was relatively less from the seed coat than from the endosperm. After 10 days of growth, all nutrients monitored were completely remobilised from the endosperm. Remobilised K was directed primarily into shoots; an increase in K content in shoots was relatively higher than the accumulation of dry matter, with a consequent increase in K concentration in shoot tissue. The remobilisation of some nutrients (eg. Fe, Ca and Zn) from various grain tissues during inbibition, germination and early growth is different from the remobilisation in more mature plants.