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  • Author or Editor: Chia-Fu Lu x
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Changes in endogenous abscisic acid (ABA) concentrations were investigated in developing seeds and the pretreated seeds of Calanthe tricarinata, a hard-to-germinate terrestrial orchid. ABA concentration was as low as 2.16 to 2.26 ng·mg−1 fresh weight at the proembryo stage [60 to 90 days after pollination (DAP)] and then continuously increased to 11.6 ng·mg−1 fresh weight at 210 DAP. Seed maturation was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in water content and a prominent accumulation of protein and lipid bodies within the embryo proper. The optimum time for asymbiotic seed germination was obtained from immature seeds at 150 DAP. At this stage, the embryo proper reached its maximum size, and the seedcoat became dehydrated and gradually shrunk into a thin layer. By 180 DAP, seed germination declined sharply as seed approached maturity. Mature seeds pretreated with ultrasound (45 min), 1% NaOCl (45 to 60 min), or 1N NaOH (45 min) were effective in improving the germination percentage and lowering seed ABA concentrations. Our results suggest that high concentrations of endogenous ABA in orchid seeds may play a critical role in arresting embryo growth and in preventing seed germination.

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