The roles of metabolic pathways in maintaining primary dormancy of Pinus koraiensis seeds
Korean pine seeds have primary dormancy following dispersal, leading to poor seed germination and seedling establishment. Metabolic homeostasis determines whether the seeds are dormant or non-dormant. However, the specific metabolic pathways that maintain the primary dormancy of pine seeds are poorly understood. Results: Metabolic analysis was employed on the embryos of PDRS (seeds released from primary dormancy) and PDS (primary dormant seeds) on days 0, 5 and 11 after incubation under a
... ation-inductive temperature. A larger metabolic switch occurred in PDRS embryos from days 0 to 11. The contents of ninety metabolites were significantly changed from days 0 to 5, 83% of which (including most sugars, organic acids and amino acids) increased, reflecting that biosynthetic metabolism processes are initiated. The contents of ninety-two metabolites showed distinct variations from days 5 to 11, 71% of which (including most organic acids and almost all amino acids) reduced substantially. Fructose 6-phosphate, inositol-3-phosphate, 3phosphoglyceric and D-glucose-6-phosphate contents showed the most decrease with decreasing 409-, 75-, 58-and 41-fold, indicating that the glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle strongly slowed down. The contents of the most metabolites in PDS embryos also displayed a relatively larger alteration only from days 0 to 5. Although 64% of metabolites increased from days 0 to 5, their levels were still lower compared with PDRS embryos. Furthermore, most metabolites were not further accumulated from days 5 to 11. Unlike PDRS embryos, almost all amino acids in PDS embryos did not exhibit a substantial decrease from days 5 to 11. Also, there was not a major decrease in the levels of metabolites involved mainly in glycolysis and TCA cycle, while some intermediates even increased. Conclusions: The attenuated biosynthetic metabolism processes, the lower utilization rate of amino acids and the higher operation rate of glycolysis and TCA in embryos maintain primary dormancy.