Ethylene evolution and endo-beta-mannanase activity during lettuce seed germination at high temperature

Evolução de etileno e atividade da enzima endo-beta-mananase durante a germinação de sementes de alface sob altas temperaturas

High temperatures during lettuce seed imbibition can delay or completely inhibit germination and the endosperm layer appears to restrict the radicle protrusion. The role of endo-beta-mannanase during lettuce seed germination at 35°C and the influence of ethylene in endo-beta-mannanase regulation were investigated. Seeds of 'Dark Green Boston' (DGB) and 'Everglades' (EVE) were germinated in water, or 10 mmol L-1 of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), or 10 mmol L-1 of aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), or 20 mmol L-1 of silver thiosulphate (STS). Seeds were also primed in polyethylene glycol (PEG), or PEG + ACC, PEG + AVG, or PEG + STS. Untreated seeds germinated 100% at 20°C. At 35°C, EVE seeds germinated 100%, whereas DGB seeds germinated only 33%. Seed priming or adding ACC during incubation increased germination at 35°C. Higher ethylene evolution was detected in EVE than in DGB during germination at 35°C. AVG did not inhibit seed germination of DGB at 35°C, but STS did. Higher endo-beta-mannanase activity was observed in EVE compared with DGB seeds. Providing ACC either during priming or during germination increased endo-beta-mannanase activity, whereas AVG and STS led to decreased or no activity. Ethylene may overcome the inhibitory effect of high temperature in thermosensitive lettuce seeds due to increased endo-beta-mannanase, possibly leading to weakening of the endosperm.

Lactuca sativa; thermoinhibition; thermodormancy; endosperm weakening; seed priming


São Paulo - Escola Superior de Agricultura "Luiz de Queiroz" USP/ESALQ - Scientia Agricola, Av. Pádua Dias, 11, 13418-900 Piracicaba SP Brazil, Tel.: +55 19 3429-4401 / 3429-4486, Fax: +55 19 3429-4401 - Piracicaba - SP - Brazil
E-mail: scientia@usp.br