Enzyme activity and reserve mobilization during Macaw palm ( Acrocomia aculeata ) seed germination
Acta Botânica Brasílica
Reserve mobilization in seeds occurs after visible germination, which is marked by the protrusion of the radicle or cotyledonary petiole, as in species of Arecaceae. Acrocomia aculeata (macaw palm), usually produces hard seeds whose endosperm has mannan-rich cell walls. We investigated the composition of storage compounds in macaw palm seed and the roles of two enzymes (endo-β-mannanase, α-galactosidase) during and after germination. Th e seeds were fi rstly submitted to pre-established
... established protocol to overcome dormancy and promote germination. Enzyme activity in both embryo and endosperm were assayed from the initiation of germinative activities until leaf sheath appearance, and the status of seed structures and reserve compounds were evaluated. Protein content of the embryo decreased with the initiation of imbibition while the lipid content began decreasing six days after removal of the operculum. Increases in enzyme activity and starch content were both observed after visible germination. We suggest that endoβ-mannanase and α-galactosidase become active immediately at germination, facilitating haustorium expansion and providing carbohydrates for initial seedling development. Protein is the fi rst storage compound mobilized during early imbibition, and the observed increase in the starch content of the haustorium was related to lipid degradation in that organ and mannan degradation in the adjacent endosperm.