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Plant Physiol. 1992 Sep;100(1):225-30.

Maturation proteins and sugars in desiccation tolerance of developing soybean seeds.

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1
Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, New York 14853.

Abstract

The desiccation-tolerant state in seeds is associated with high levels of certain sugars and maturation proteins. The aim of this work was to evaluate the contributions of these components to desiccation tolerance in soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merrill cv Chippewa 64). When axes of immature seeds (34 d after flowering) were excised and gradually dried (6 d), desiccation tolerance was induced. By contrast, seeds held at high relative humidity for the same period were destroyed by desiccation. Maturation proteins rapidly accumulated in the axes whether the seeds were slowly dried or maintained at high relative humidity. During slow drying, sucrose content increased to five times the level present in the axes of seeds held at high relative humidity (128 versus 25 mug/axis, respectively). Stachyose content increased dramatically from barely detectable levels upon excision to 483 mug/axis during slow drying but did not increase significantly when seeds were incubated at high relative humidity. Galactinol was the only saccharide that accumulated to higher levels in axes from seeds incubated at high relative humidity relative to axes from seeds that were slowly dried. This suggests that slow drying serves to induce the accumulation of the raffinose series sugars at a point after galactinol biosynthesis. We conclude that stachyose plays an important role in conferring desiccation tolerance.

PMID:
16652951
PMCID:
PMC1075542
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