Control of Seed Germination by Abscisic Acid : II. Effect on Embryo Water Uptake in Brassica napus L.

Plant physiology

PubMedID: 16663788

Schopfer P, Plachy C. Control of Seed Germination by Abscisic Acid : II. Effect on Embryo Water Uptake in Brassica napus L. Plant Physiol. 1984;76(1):155-60.
Germination of rape (Brassica napus L.) seeds proceeds in two phases, an initial imbibition phase and a subsequent growth phase. The time courses of water uptake, O(2) uptake, and ATP accumulation demonstrate that exogenous abscisic acid (ABA, 0.1 millimoles per liter) specifically prevents the embryo from entering the growth phase. The inhibition of water uptake by ABA is a rapid (lag-phase about 1 hour) and fully reversible process which appears to be the cause rather than the result of changes of the energy metabolism. In untreated seeds, an osmotic pressure (polyethylene glycol 6000) of 11 bars is required for a simulation of the ABA effect on water uptake. However, in ABA-treated seeds an osmotic pressure of only 3 bars is sufficient to suppress water uptake. Thus, ABA lowers the ability of the embryo to absorb water under osmotic stress. In a two-factor analysis of the simultaneous action of ABA and osmoticum on germination, a complete synergistic interaction between these factors was found while ABA and cycloheximide exhibit independent (multiplicative) coaction. These results are interpreted in terms of a common controlling point of ABA and osmotic stress in the water relations of germinating seeds.