The Effects of Ascorbic Acid on Breaking the Seed Dormancy of Malus sieversii

  • Junpeng Niu
  • Lei Zhao
  • Yongmei Fan
  • Sangsang Shi
  • Lufang He
  • Wei HuiEmail author


The effects of ascorbic acid (ASA) on the seed dormancy of Malus sieversii were investigated in this study. Firstly, the dormant seeds during different periods of cold stratification were stripped of their coats and incubated for 7 d to investigate the germination, endogenous ASA content and L-galactose-1, 4-lactone dehydrogenase (GLDH) activity. In part two, the dormant embryos without coats were treated with exogenous ASA and lycorine (Lyc) to measure the germination, endogenous ASA, GLDH, α-amylase, and GA. The results show that after the cold stratification, ASA and GLDH increased significantly before the onset of dormancy breaking, and the seed coat was not the determinant factor for maintaining dormancy. In addition, exogenous ASA increased the dormancy breaking, germination, endogenous ASA, GLDH, α-amylase, and GA, whereas Lyc showed the opposite effects. It reveals that ASA participates in the onset of dormancy breaking of Malus sieversii seeds, and it is able to break dormancy. On the other hand, Lyc significantly inhibits GLDH activity, and reduces endogenous ASA, thus ultimately prolonging seed dormancy. Furthermore, exogenous ASA enhances α-amylase activity and increases endogenous GA accumulation of the seeds, and ultimately promotes embryo dormancy breaking.


Ascorbic acid Lycorine Dormancy Germination Malus sieversii 



This study was supported by Science and Technology Planning Project of Xi’an Municipal Science and Technology Bureau (2017050NC/NY009-1).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life SciencesShaanxi Normal UniversityXiˊanPeople’s Republic of China

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