Seed reserve composition and mobilization during germination and early seedling establishment of Cereus jamacaru D.C. ssp. jamacaru (Cactaceae)
Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
Cereus jamacaru, a Cactaceae found throughout northeast Brazil, is widely used as cattle food and as an ornamental and medicinal plant. However, there has been little information about the physiological and biochemical aspects involved in its germination. The aim of this study was to investigate its reserve mobilization during germination and early seedling growth. For this, C. jamacaru seeds were germinated in a growth chamber and collected at 0, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 12 days after imbibition for
... orphological and biochemical analyses. Dry seeds had wrinkled seed coats and large, curved embryos. Lipids were the most abundant reserve, comprising approximately 55% and 65% of the dry mass for cotyledons and the hypocotylradicle axis, respectively. Soluble sugars and starch were the minor reserves, corresponding to approximately 2.2% of the cotyledons' dry mass, although their levels showed significant changes during germination. Soluble proteins corresponded to 40% of the cotyledons' dry mass, which was reduced by 81% at the final period of germination compared to dry seeds. C. jamacaru seed can be classified as an oil seed due to its high lipid content. Moreover, lipids were the main reserve mobilized during germination because their levels were strongly reduced after seed germination, while proteins were the second most utilized reserve in this process.