Embryo and hip development in hybrid roses
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Roses are known to produce seeds with high concentrations of abscisic acid (ABA), both in the pericarp and in the testa tissues of the seed coat. No studies on roses have documented embryo morphological differentiation or the concentration of ABA in the embryo, which is known to inhibit premature germination. In this study, hip and seed growth of two hybrid roses were characterised from 3 to 60 days after pollination (DAP). An increase of about five times the hip mass at 3 DAP was necessary to obtain fully developed seeds. Fully developed embryos were found at 15 DAP and completely developed seeds at 30 DAP. The same pattern of hip mass increase was shown in both genotypes. In parallel, quantification of ABA in the developing embryos was carried out by ELISA. An exponential decay in ABA concentration was found in embryos of both genotypes, with basal levels (<0.5 pmol mg−1) registered at 30 DAP. These changes in ABA, during the embryo development, could be used to formulate time points for embryo rescue and understanding of the pollination to seedling stage.