, Volume 238, Issue 1, pp 121–138 | Cite as

Roles for blue light, jasmonate and nitric oxide in the regulation of dormancy and germination in wheat grain (Triticum aestivum L.)

  • John V. Jacobsen
  • Jose M. Barrero
  • Trijntje Hughes
  • Magdalena Julkowska
  • Jennifer M. Taylor
  • Qian Xu
  • Frank Gubler
Original Article


Abscisic acid (ABA) plays a central role in seed dormancy and transcriptional regulation of genes coding for ABA biosynthetic and degradation enzymes is responsible for control of ABA content. However, little is known about signalling both before and after ABA regulation, in particular, how environmental signals are perceived and transduced. We are interested in these processes in cereal grains, particularly in relation to the development of strategies for controlling pre-harvest sprouting in barley and wheat. Our previous studies have indicated possible components of dormancy control and here we present evidence that blue light, nitric oxide (NO) and jasmonate are major controlling elements in wheat grain. Using microarray and pharmacological studies, we have found that blue light inhibits germination in dormant grain and that methyl jasmonate (MJ) and NO counteract this effect by reducing dormancy. We also present evidence that NO and jasmonate play roles in dormancy control in vivo. ABA was reduced by MJ and this was accompanied by reduced levels of expression of TaNCED1 and increased expression of TaABA8′OH-1 compared with dormant grain. Similar changes were caused by after-ripening. Analysis of global gene expression showed that although jasmonate and after-ripening caused important changes in gene expression, the changes were very different. While breaking dormancy, MJ had only a small number of target genes including gene(s) encoding beta-glucosidase. Our evidence indicates that NO and MJ act interdependently in controlling reduction of ABA and thus the demise of dormancy.


ABA After-ripening Coleorhiza Microarray Red-light 







Methyl jasmonate


Nitric oxide


Jasmonic acid


Acetylsalicylic acid


Coleorhiza emergence


Root emergence


Sodium nitroprusside


Allene oxide synthase


12-oxophytodienoic acid reductase


2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3 oxide



JMB acknowledges the support of the Australian Grains Research and Development Corporation and MJ acknowledges the award of a STUNT Grant for Master Students by the University of Amsterdam in support of her MSc internship in Canberra.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • John V. Jacobsen
    • 1
  • Jose M. Barrero
    • 1
  • Trijntje Hughes
    • 1
  • Magdalena Julkowska
    • 2
  • Jennifer M. Taylor
    • 1
  • Qian Xu
    • 1
  • Frank Gubler
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Division of Plant IndustryCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Section of Plant Physiology, Swammerdam Institute for Life SciencesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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