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Cell signaling mechanisms and metabolic regulation of germination and dormancy in barley seeds.

Ma Z, Bykova NV, Igamberdiev AU (2017) Cell signaling mechanisms and metabolic regulation of germination and dormancy in barley seeds. The Crop Journal 5(6): 459-477.


During germination of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) seeds, important morphological and physiological changes take place, including development of organs and tissues and activation of metabolic pathways. Germination and dormancy of seeds are regulated by abscisic acid, gibberellins, reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and several other factors. Activities of ascorbate–glutathione cycle enzymes, responsible for scavenging ROS, strongly increase. Catalase and superoxide dismutase activities, also scavenging ROS, decrease at the onset of seed germination and then increase. With the increase in aerobic metabolism after radicle protrusion, the activities of the fermentation enzymes lactate and alcohol dehydrogenase decline rapidly. The RNS-scavenging activity of S-nitrosoglutathione reductase decreases in the course of seed germination, in concert with elevation of nitric oxide production and protein nitrosylation. This activity supports the role of RNS in regulating seed germination. Transcription of various genes at different phases of seed germination exhibits phase-specific changes. During imbibition, genes involved in cell wall metabolism are highly expressed; in the middle phase of seed germination before radicle protrusion, genes involved in amino acid synthesis, protein synthesis, and transport and nucleic acid synthesis are upregulated significantly, and after radicle protrusion, genes involved in photosynthetic metabolism are induced. In summary, signal transduction and metabolic regulation of seed germination involve diverse reactions and complex regulation at different levels of metabolic organization.

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