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Changes in hormone concentrations during dormancy release of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) seeds

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Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) seeds are highly dormant immediately after harvest. In practical horticulture this dormancy has been traditionally overcome by a dry-heat treatment and, more recently, through the application of hydrogen cyanamide (HC). Initiation and release of dormancy have been related in other plant species to changes in endogenous hormone concentrations. Therefore, the effect of the aforementioned dormancy release treatments on germination and on endogenous concentration of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), abscisic acid (ABA), gibberellins GA1, GA3 and GA20 (GAs), zeatin/zeatin riboside and N6 2-isopentenyl) adenine/N6 2-isopentenyl) adenosine was evaluated in oil palm seeds. Heat- and HC-treated seeds germinated above 90% after 37 d, while germination of control seeds was below 4% at the same time. A sharp reduction in ABA concentration in embryos and endosperm was the most notable outcome during the dry-heat and HC treatments, the latter one in a lesser degree. HC treatment additionally caused an increase in IAA levels in embryos and endosperm during the imbibition phase. Changes in concentration of other hormones (e.g., GAs and cytokinins) could not be directly related to dormancy release in this species. Participation of additional factors, such as changes in sensitivity to plant hormones, cannot be ruled out.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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