Molecular and Hormonal Regulation of Thermoinhibition of Seed Germination



Thermoinhibition is the failure of seeds to germinate when imbibed at warm but not excessively high temperatures. Such seeds can generally complete germination when the temperature is reduced, but extended exposure to high temperatures may induce secondary dormancy. Plant hormones, particularly abscisic acid (ABA), gibberellins (GA) and ethylene, are known to be involved in regulating thermoinhibition of germination. Key regulated genes involved in ABA biosynthesis such as those encoding 9-cis-EPOXYCAROTENOID DIOXYGENASE (NCEDs) are essential for the induction of thermoinhibition. GA and ethylene biosynthetic and signaling genes are associated with promotion of germination and are repressed in thermoinhibited seeds. Jasmonates, strigolactones and other stress-related genes/proteins may also contribute to temperature regulation of germination, possibly by affecting ABA, GA or ethylene synthesis or action. The molecular biology and physiology of these genes and hormones and their interactions are described along with directions for future research into the temperature regulation of seed germination.


Seed Germination Temperature Thermoinhibition Dormancy Gene expression Abscisic acid (ABA) Gibberellin (GA) Ethylene Jasmonate Strigolactone Heat shock Stress 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Seed Biotechnology Center, Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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