Abscisic Acid and Germination
Date: Winter 2011-2012
Why would abscisic acid found in tomato inhitbit seed germination of a mustard seed, bean seed and corn seed?
Many plants naturally have abscisic acid within the seeds to prevent sprouting until the spring.
"Inhibitors Present: Many plant species invest chemicals in the developing seeds, and these chemicals inhibit the development of the embryos. They keep the embryos dormant. Obviously the seed must have some way to eliminate these chemicals before they can sprout."
"Abscisic Acid: Many temperate zone species that use inhibitors use abscisic acid. This chemical induces dormancy in the embryo. The chemical is produced in abundance in the late summer and early fall. The seeds in the fruits become dormant so, even if they are dispersed in autumn, they cannot sprout. During the winter enzymes in the seeds degrade the abscisic acid. By spring the abscisic acid is gone and the seed can sprout."
Anthony Brach Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012