Initial characterisation of low and high seed dormancy populations of Lolium

The physiological and biochemical bases of seed dormancy in Lolium rigidum (annual ryegrass) are largely unknown, and study of this process is complicated by the outcrossing nature of the species and the strong influence of environment on seed dormancy. In order to identify heritable biochemical factors contributing to seed dormancy in L. rigidum, seeds from a field-collected population were used to select sub-populations with consistently low or high seed dormancy over four generations. Low-dormancy seeds showed constitutive a-amylase activity prior to imbibition, higher concentrations of polyphenols and cis-zeatin, and lower abscisic acid and cis-zeatin riboside concentrations than high-dormancy seeds. Selection for high dormancy was associated with a reduction in response to dark-stratification for 21 d at 20 ◦C (an effective means of releasing dormancy in the original, unselected population) over successive generations, but fluridone remained effective in breaking dormancy. Crossing of low- and high-dormancy populations indicated that dormancy level was not dependent upon the maternal genotype of the seed, and that the constitutive a-amylase activity and high seed anthocyanin concentrations characteristic of the low-dormancy populations were not correlated to high basal germination ability.

Journal of Plant physiology, 167.15: 1282-1288

Keywords: alpha Amylase, cytokinins, inheritance, Lolium rigidum, seed dormancy

Publication Year: 2010

Authors: D Goggin, RJ Emery, S Powles, K Steadman

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