Many seeds of woody plants require low temperature or other treatments to overcome dormancy. Changes in catalase activity and glutathione has been proposed to be associated with the breaking of dormancy. We examined the level of glutathione and catalase activity of cherry seeds (Prunus mahaleb cv. Lambert) exposed to several dormancy breaking agents. Seeds imbibed in water for 24 hrs. were either stratified at 4°C or at 25°C for up to 12 weeks, or exposed to other dormancy breaking agents. Germination test, glutathione and catalase activity were determined weekly and/or after treatment. Analysis of levels and state of glutathione were performed by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), and catalase activity was assayed spectrophotometrically. Total glutathione in dry and imbibed seeds were similar, but, ratio between the reduced and oxidized form were different. Low temperature stratification for 12 weeks increased the reduced form of glutathione six-fold, while percent germination increased up to 94%.
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