Journal Article

A Mechanism for Promoting the Germination of <i>Zinnia elegans </i>Seeds by Hydrogen Peroxide

Ken’ichi Ogawa and Masaki Iwabuchi

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 42, issue 3, pages 286-291
Published in print March 2001 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online March 2001 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
A Mechanism for Promoting the Germination of Zinnia elegans Seeds by Hydrogen Peroxide

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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H2O2 promotes seed germination of cereal plants such as barley, wheat and rice, and several mechanisms have been proposed for its action [Naredo et al. (1998) Seed Sci. Technol. 26: 675–689]. We investigated the role of H2O2 in the germination of Zinnia elegans seeds. H2O2 promoted seed germination in a dose-dependent manner as did respiratory inhibitors, indicating that H2O2 itself possibly promotes seed germination rather than O2. Seed germination was promoted by removal of pericarp from seeds or by removal of ethanol-soluble compounds from the seeds with pericarp. The ethanol-soluble compounds suppressed the germination of seeds having no pericarp, and this effect was reversed by H2O2. These findings indicate that oxidation of the germination inhibitor(s) present in the pericarp by H2O2 promotes seed germination. Antioxidants which are derivatives of well-known germination inhibitors suppressed seed germination in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that, to initiate seed germination, a germination inhibitor(s) should be decomposed by an oxidant such as H2O2.

Keywords: Key words: Development — Dormancy breakage — Germination — Hydrogen peroxide — Redox — Zinnia elegans.; Abbreviations: GR, Glutathione reductase; MCLA, 2-methyl-6-(p-methoxyphenyl)-3,7-dihydroimidazo[1,2-α]pyrazin-3-one; ROS, reactive oxygen species; SHAM, salicylhydroxamic acid.

Journal Article.  3449 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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