Book chapter 30, pp. 287-295 in "Seeds: Biology, Development and Ecology" (2007)
Adkins SW, Ashmore SE, Navie SC (eds). CAB International, Wallingford, UK.
8th International Workshop on Seeds, May 2005, Brisbane, Australia

A role for reactive oxygen species in endosperm weakening

Kerstin Müller, Barbara Heß, Gerhard Leubner-Metzger

Institut für Biologie II (Botanik/Pflanzenphysiologie), Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Schänzlestr. 1, D-79104 Freiburg i. Br., Germany, Web: 'The Seed Biology Place'
Abstract.  In many seeds, including the established model species Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and the emerging Brassicaceae model system garden cress (Lepidium sativum), the process of germination features testa rupture and endosperm rupture as two separate events. Endosperm rupture requires cell walls weakening in the endosperm layer. Puncture force measurements are a useful tool for quantifying this endosperm weakening. We have established such measurements for Lepidium sativum and have shown that endosperm weakening takes place prior to endosperm rupture. Various mechanisms have been proposed to promote endosperm weakening. A novel mechanism proposed by us involves the cleavage of cell wall polymers in the endosperm by reactive oxygen species or more specifically by apoplastic hydroxyl radicals (OH) formed when superoxide (O2-) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) undergo a Fenton reaction in the presence of peroxidases.

Based on the oral presentation of Kerstin Müller in Brisbane, May 2005. Awarded as one of the best student presentations.

Article in PDF format (6.2 MB)
   Abstract    Fig. 1 and 3
Fig. 2              
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