Seed dormancy release accelerated by elevated partial pressure of oxygen is associated with DOG loci

Buijs, G.; Kodde, J.; Groot, S.P.C.; Bentsink, L.


Seed dormancy determines the timing of seed germination and may be released by dry storage, also referred to as after-ripening. Studies on dormancy-release mechanisms are often hampered by the long after-ripening requirements of seeds. After-ripening is thought to be mainly caused by oxidative processes during seed dry storage. These processes are also the main cause of seed ageing. Increasing partial oxygen pressure through the elevated partial pressure of oxygen (EPPO) system has been shown to mimic and accelerate dry seed ageing. In this study, we investigated whether the EPPO system may also release primary seed dormancy in Arabidopsis thaliana. EPPO mimics dry after-ripening at the genetic level, as quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis after EPPO treatment identified the DELAY OF GERMINATION loci DOG1, DOG2, and DOG6 that were first described in a study using dry after-ripening to release seed dormancy. QTL analysis also showed that dormancy release by cold stratification (another common method to break seed dormancy) partly overlaps with release by after-ripening and EPPO treatment. We conclude that EPPO is an appropriate method to mimic and accelerate dormancy release and, as such, may have applications in both research and industry.