J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (9): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00150.x

• Research Articles •    

Promotion by 5-Aminolevulinic Acid of Germination of Pakchoi (Brassica campestris ssp. Chinensis var. communis Tsen et Lee) Seeds Under Salt Stress

Liang-Ju WANG, Wei-Bing JIANG, Hui LIU, Wei-Qin LIU, Lang KANG and Xi-Lin HOU   

Abstract: The seed germination and seedling growth of pakchoi (Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis var. communis Tsen et Lee cv. Hanxiao) were not significantly inhibited until the concentration of NaCl was increased to150 mmol/L. Treatment of pakchoi seeds with exogenous 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), at concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 10.00 mg/L, promoted seed germination when seeds were stressed by salinity, whereas levulinic acid (LA), an inhibitor of ALA dehydrase, significantly inhibited seed germination and seedling growth, suggesting that metabolism of ALA into porphyrin compounds was necessary for seed germination and seedling growth. Determination of respiratory rate during seed germination showed that ALA increased seed respiration under both normal conditions and salt stress. Furthermore, salt stress decreased levels of endogenous ALA, as well as heme, in etiolated seedlings. More salt-tolerant cultivars of pakchoi contained higher relative levels of endogenous ALA and heme under conditions of salt stress. These results indicate that salt stress may inhibit the biosynthesis of endogenous ALA and then heme, which is necessary for seed germination, and treatment of seeds with exogenous ALA prior to germination may be associated with the biosynthesis of heme.

Key words: 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), germination, heme, pakchoi, respiration, salt stress.

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