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  • Author or Editor: Yehoshua Saranga x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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Tolerance to partial desiccation and amino acid composition of celery (Apium graveolens L. cv. SB 12) somatic embryos were investigated under various culture durations and with exogenous application of 1 μm ABA, proline, and/or γ -aminobutyrate (GABA). ABA consistently increased tolerance to partial desiccation and elevated proline and GABA content of embryos. The changes in tolerance to partial desiccation associated with changes in culture duration (optimum 9 to 10 days) correlated with embryo proline content. Exogenous proline increased embryo proline content and tolerance to partial desiccation. Exogenous GABA increased embryo GABA content and tolerance to partial desiccation only when applied in combination with proline. Chemical name used: abscisic acid (ABA).

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The cause for the differences in germination ability of large and small confection sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seeds was investigated over 3 years. The source-sink relationship was manipulated to better explore the differences between seeds of various sizes and to study the role of the embryo and the pericarp (hull) in controlling germination ability. Percent germination of large seeds was significantly lower than that of small seeds when tests were performed at 15 °C. Increasing the ratio of leaf area to number of developing seeds caused an increase in mean seed mass, but resulted in a lower percentage of germination. Seed vigor, as measured by mean time to germination or to emergence of hulled seeds or by rate of root elongation, was negatively correlated with embryo mass, indicating that the low vigor of large seeds is not due to the mechanical barrier imposed by the hull. Analysis of electrolyte leakage confirmed the hypothesis that the low quality of large seeds results from a disturbance during the process of seed development.

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Effects of reduced osmotic potential on somatic embryos of celery (Apium graveolens L.) were studied in an attempt to understand and improve their tolerance to partial desiccation. Embryos responded similarly to application of high osmoticum (384 mOs/kg H2O vs. 190 mOs/kg H2O in the control), achieved either by manipulation of sucrose or polyethylene glycol concentrations (PEG). Treatments of high osmotic concentration applied during the last 2 days of the embryo production cycle increased embryo survival and conversion after partial desiccation. The most striking effect of the high osmotic concentrations was the 4-fold increase in proline, while a 2-fold increase was obtained with 1 μm ABA alone. Application of high osmotica decreased reducing sugars, increased sucrose, but did not affect starch content of embryos; of these responses, only the change in sucrose was similar to that induced by ABA. Osmotic treatments did not affect total fatty acid content in the embryos compared to the 2-fold increase induced by ABA. Chemical name used: abscisic acid (ABA).

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