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Plant Physiol. 1966 Jun;41(6):962-4.

Mediation of phytochrome in the inductive action of low temperature on dark germination of lettuce seed at supra-optimal temperature.

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The Negev Institute for Arid Zone Research, Be'er Sheva, Israel.


The induction of dark germination in light-requiring lettuce (Lactuca sativa) seed at supraoptimal temperatures by cold treatment (in darkness) was partly reversed by a brief far-red irradiation made at time of transfer, and even more so when the irradiation was made at the beginning of the cold pretreatment. When the inhibitory far-red irradiation was followed by additional cold treatment, the promotion was greatly restored. The promotive effects of brief irradiations with red light were further enhanced by a following cold period, before transfer to the supraoptimal temperature. These results are interpreted as indicating that the active (far-red absorbing) form of phytochrome is pre-existing in the dry seed, and interacts with a co-factor which is built-up during imbibition. The rate of build-up of this co-factor, as well as of the dark inactivation of active phytochrome increase with temperature. The products of the interaction pass through a photo-labile thermo-stable phase, before becoming photo-stable as well.

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