, Volume 212, Issue 2, pp 229–245

The wheat ABA hypersensitive ERA8 mutant is associated with increased preharvest sprouting tolerance and altered hormone accumulation

  • Shantel A. Martinez
  • Keiko M. Tuttle
  • Yumiko Takebayashi
  • Mitsunori Seo
  • Kimberly Garland Campbell
  • Camille M. Steber

DOI: 10.1007/s10681-016-1763-6

Cite this article as:
Martinez, S.A., Tuttle, K.M., Takebayashi, Y. et al. Euphytica (2016) 212: 229. doi:10.1007/s10681-016-1763-6


Wheat preharvest sprouting (PHS) is the germination of mature grain on the mother plant when rain occurs before harvest. Higher abscisic acid (ABA) hormone levels and sensitivity are associated with higher seed dormancy and PHS tolerance. Consistent with this, the ABA hypersensitive ENHANCED RESPONSE TO ABA8 (ERA8) mutant resulted in increased dormancy and PHS tolerance in soft white spring wheat ‘Zak’. ERA8 seeds were initially less responsive to germination-rescue by the hormone gibberellin (GA). ERA8 gained GA and lost ABA sensitivity more slowly than wild-type during dormancy loss through after-ripening and cold imbibition. This study examined if increased ABA sensitivity in ERA8 likely resulted from increased ABA signaling or increased ABA hormone levels. Zak ERA8 had higher initial grain dormancy although endogenous embryo ABA levels were similar in Zak ERA8 and wild-type, suggesting that increased dormancy was due to increased ABA signaling rather than increased ABA accumulation. ABA levels declined with Zak ERA8 after-ripening, suggesting that ABA turnover is not defective. Elevated ERA8 dormancy was also associated with increased embryonic jasmonic acid-Ile and aleurone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) levels. The possible implication that other plant hormones may influence wheat seed dormancy and germination are discussed.


Abscisic acid Gibberellin Auxin Wheat Preharvest sprouting Seed dormancy 

Supplementary material

10681_2016_1763_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (468 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 468 kb)

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
National Science Foundation (US)
  • 1209878
Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science
    Washington Grain Alliance
      U.S. Department of Agriculture

        Copyright information

        © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2016

        Authors and Affiliations

        1. 1.Molecular Plant Sciences, Department of Crop and Soil SciencesWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA
        2. 2.RIKEN Centre for Sustainable Resource ScienceYokohamaJapan
        3. 3.USDA-ARS Wheat Genetics, Quality, Physiology and Disease Research UnitWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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