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Plant Physiol. 2003 Jun;132(2):1077-84. Epub 2003 May 15.

Characterization of green seed, an enhancer of abi3-1 in Arabidopsis that affects seed longevity.

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Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University, Arboretumlaan 4, The Netherlands.


Seeds are usually stored in physiological conditions in which they gradually lose their viability and vigor depending on storage conditions, storage time, and genotype. Very little is known about the underlying genetics of seed storability and seed deterioration. We analyzed a mutant in Arabidopsis disturbed in seed storability. This mutant was isolated as a grs (green-seeded) mutant in an abi3-1 (abscisic acid 3) mutant background. Genetic and physiological characterization showed that the monogenic grs mutant was not visibly green seeded and mapped on chromosome 4. This enhancer mutation did not affect the ABA sensitivity of seed germination or seed dormancy but was found to affect seed storability and seedling vigor. Seed storability was assessed in a controlled deterioration test, in which the germination capacity of the mutant decreased with the duration of the treatment. The decrease in viability and vigor was confirmed by storing the seeds in two relative humidities (RHs) for a prolonged period. At 60% RH, the mutant lost germinability, but storage at 32% RH showed no decrease of germination although seed vigor decreased. The decrease in viability and vigor could be related to an increase in conductivity, suggesting membrane deterioration. This was not affected by light conditions during imbibition, expected to influence the generation of active oxygen species. During seed maturation, ABI3 regulates several processes: acquiring dormancy and long-term storability and loss of chlorophyll. Our results indicate that GRS is a common regulator in the latter two but not of dormancy/germination.

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