Regulation of Seed Germination in the Close Arabidopsis Relative Lepidium sativum: A Global Tissue-Specific Transcript Analysis

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:Morris, K, Linkies, A, Müller, K, Oracz, K, Wang, X, Lynn, JR, Leubner-Metzger, G, Finch-Savage, WE
Journal:Plant Physiology
Date Published:2011
ISBN Number:00320889
Keywords:Lepidium, Lepidium sativum

The completion of germination in Lepidium sativum and other endospermic seeds (e.g. Arabidopsis [Arabidopsis thaliana]) regulated by two opposing forces, the growth potential of the radicle (RAD) and the resistance to this growth from the micropylar endosperm cap (CAP) surrounding it. We show by puncture force measurement that the CAP progressively weakens during germination, and we have conducted a time-course transcript analysis of RAD and CAP tissues throughout this process. We have also used specific inhibitors to investigate the importance of transcription, translation, and posttranslation levels of regulation of endosperm weakening in isolated CAPs. Although the impact of inhibiting translation is greater, both transcription and translation are required for the completion of endosperm weakening in the whole seed population. The majority of genes expressed during this process occur in both tissues, but where they are uniquely expressed, or significantly differentially expressed between tissues, this relates to the functions of the RAD as growing tissue and the CAP as a regulator of germination through weakening. More detailed analysis showed that putative orthologs of cell wall-remodeling genes are expressed in a complex manner during CAP weakening, suggesting distinct roles in the RAD and CAP. Expression patterns are also consistent with the CAP being a receptor for environmental signals influencing germination. Inhibitors of the aspartic, serine, and cysteine proteases reduced the number of isolated CAPs in which weakening developed, and inhibition of the 26S proteasome resulted in its complete cessation. This indicates that targeted protein degradation is a major control point for endosperm weakening.

Short Title:Plant Physiology
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