402 Lettuce Seed Germination and Endo-mannanase Activity are Stimulated by Ethylene at High Temperature

in HortScience
Authors:
Warley M. NascimentoHorticultural Sciences Dept., Univ. of Florida, PO Box 110690, Gainesville, FL 32611-0690

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Daniel J. CantliffeHorticultural Sciences Dept., Univ. of Florida, PO Box 110690, Gainesville, FL 32611-0690

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Donald J. HuberHorticultural Sciences Dept., Univ. of Florida, PO Box 110690, Gainesville, FL 32611-0690

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Temperatures above 30 °C may delay or inhibit germination of most of commercial lettuce cultivars. Ethylene enhances lettuce seed germination at high temperatures. Enzyme-mediated degradation of endosperm cell walls appears to be a crucial factor for lettuce germination at high temperature. The galactomannan polysaccharides in lettuce endosperm cell wall are mobilized by endomannanase. The role of endo-mannanase during germination of lettuce seeds at high temperature (35 °C) and the possible role of etlene in enzyme regulation were investigated. Seeds of thermotolerant (`Everglades'-EVE) and thermosensitive (`Dark Green Boston'-DGB) lettuce genotypes were incubated at 20 and 35 °C in water, 10 mM of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), or 20 mM of silver thiosulphate (STS). Also, seeds were primed in an aerated solution of polyethylene glycol (PEG), or PEG+ACC, or PEG+STS. Untreated seeds germinated 100% at 20 °C. At 35 °C, EVE germinated 100%, whereas DGB germinated only 33%. Seed priming or adding ACC during imbibition increased germination of DGB to 100% at 35 °C. Adding STS during imbibition led to a decrease in germination at 35%C in EVE and completely inhibited germination of DGB. Priming with STS led to reduced germination at 35%C of both genotypes. EVE produced more ethylene than DGB during germination at high temperature. Providing ACC either during priming or during germination led to an increase in endo-mannanase activity, whereas STS inhibited mannanase activity. Higher endo-mannana activity was observed in EVE than DGB seeds. The results suggest that ethylene might overcome the inhibitory effect of high temperature in thermosensitive lettuce seeds via weakening of endosperm due to increased endo-mannanase activity.

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