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New Phytol. 2009 Dec;184(4):885-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.03005.x. Epub 2009 Sep 15.

The NADPH-oxidase AtrbohB plays a role in Arabidopsis seed after-ripening.

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Faculty of Biology, Institute for Biology II, Botany/Plant Physiology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


*Seeds can enter a state of dormancy, in which they do not germinate under optimal environmental conditions. Dormancy can be broken during seed after-ripening in the low-hydrated state. *By screening enhancer trap lines of Arabidopsis, we identified a role for the NADPH-oxidase AtrbohB in after-ripening. Semiquantitative PCR was used to investigate AtrbohB transcripts in seeds. These methods were complemented with a pharmacological approach using the inhibitor diphenylene iodonium chloride (DPI) and biomechanical measurements in the Brassicaceae seed model system cress (Lepidium sativum) as well as protein carbonylation assays. *atrbohB mutants fail to after-ripen and show reduced protein oxidation. AtrbohB pre-mRNA is alternatively spliced in seeds in a hormonally and developmentally regulated manner. AtrbohB is a major producer of superoxide in germinating Arabidopsis seeds, and inhibition of superoxide production by diphenylene iodonium (DPI) leads to a delay in Arabidopsis and cress seed germination and cress endosperm weakening. *Reactive oxygen species produced by AtrbohB during after-ripening could act via abscisic acid (ABA) signalling or post-translational protein modifications. Alternative splicing could be a general mechanism in after-ripening: by altered processing of stored pre-mRNAs seeds could react quickly to environmental changes.

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