- ELSEVIER FRANCE-EDITIONS SCIENTIFIQUES MEDICALES ELSEVIER
Seed germination is the initial step of plant development. Seed priming with salt promotes seed germination in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.); however, the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying the enhancement of seed germination by priming remain to be elucidated. In this study, we examined the following in seeds both during and after priming treatment: the endogenous abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellin (GA) concentrations; the expression of genes encoding ABA catabolic and GA biosynthesis enzymes, including 8'-hydroxylase (CYP707A), copalyl diphosphate synthase (CPS), GA 20-oxidase (GA20ox) and GA 3-oxidase (GA3ox); and endosperm cap weakening enzymes, including expansin (EXP), class I beta-1,3-glucanase (GulB), endo-beta-mannanase (MAN) and xyloglucan endo-transglucosylase (XTH). Tomato seeds were soaked for 24 h at 25 degrees C in the dark in 300 mM NaCl (NaCl-priming) or distilled water (hydro-priming). For both priming treatments, the ABA content in the seeds increased during treatment but rapidly decreased after sowing. Both during and after the priming treatments, the ABA levels in the hydro-primed seeds and NaCl-primed seeds were not significantly different. The expression levels of SIGA20ox1, SIGA3ox1 and SIGA3ox2 were significantly enhanced in the NaCl-primed seeds compared to the hydro-primed seeds. The GA(4) content was quantifiable after both types of priming, indicating that GA(4) is the major bioactive GA molecule involved in tomato seed germination. The GA(4) content was significantly higher in the NaCl-primed seeds than in the hydro-primed seeds 12 h after sowing and thereafter. Additionally, the peak expression levels of SIEXP4, SIGulB, SIMAN2 and SIXTH4 occurred earlier and were significantly higher in the NaCl-primed seeds than in the hydro-primed seeds. These results suggest that the observed effect of NaCl-priming on tomato seed germination is caused by an increase of the GA(4) content via GA biosynthetic gene activation and a subsequent increase in the expression of genes related to endosperm cap weakening. (C) 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
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