Temporal expression patterns of hormone metabolism genes during imbibition of arabidopsis thaliana seeds: A comparative study on dormant and non-dormant accessions

Jeremy Preston, Kiyoshi Tatematsu, Yuri Kanno, Tokunori Hobo, Mitsuhiro Kimura, Yusuke Jikumaru, Ryoichi Yano, Yuji Kamiya, Eiji Nambara

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97 Citations (Scopus)


Seed imbibition is a prerequisite for subsequent dormancy and germination control. Here, we investigated imbibition responses of Arabidopsis seeds by transcriptomic and hormone profile analyses using dormant [Cape Verde Islands (Cvi)] and non-dormant [Columbia (Col)] accessions. Once imbibed, seeds of both accessions swelled most up to 3 h, reflecting water uptake. Microarray analysis showed that in both accessions, seeds imbibed for 15 min, 30 min and 1 h were less active in gene expression than at 3 h. More than 2,000 genes were either up-regulated or down-regulated in seeds imbibed for 3 h. Some genes up-regulated at 3 h were already induced in seeds imbibed for 1 h, suggestive of genome reprogramming early after the onset of imbibition. Imbibition-induced genes in seeds imbibed for 3 h included those up-regulated in both Col and Cvi (common) or unique to either accession (accession specific). Up-regulated genes that were both common and Cvi-specific were over-represented for sugar metabolism and the pentose phosphate pathway, whereas Col-specific genes were over-represented for ribosomal protein genes. Quantification of plant hormones showed that ABA and salicylic acid (SA) contents were higher, but gibberellin A4 (GA4), N 6-(Δ2-isopentenyl)adenine (iP), jasmonic acid (JA), JAisoleucine (JA-Ile) and IAA were lower in imbibed seeds of Cvi compared with Col. In addition, changes in IAA and JA were initiated before 1 h, whereas ABA and JA-Ile declined 3 h after the onset of imbibition. An increase in GA4 and iP appeared to be correlated temporally with the initiation of secondary water uptake, which marks the completion of germination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1786-1800
Number of pages15
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Arabidopsis
  • Gene expression
  • Hormone metabolism
  • Microarray
  • Seed imbibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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