September 1, 2015
Background Ethylene is capable of promoting seed germination in some plant species. Mobilization of metals such as Fe, Cu, Mn, and Zn in mature seeds takes place when seeds are germinating. However, whether ethylene is involved in the regulation of soybean seed germination and metal element mobilization during early seed germination stage remains unknown. In the present study, seeds were treated with ethylene synthesis inhibitor aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) and ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), and double distilled H2O (ddH(2)0) treatment was used as control. Ethylene emission, ACC synthase (ACS) expression, ACS enzyme activity and Ca, Zn, Mn, Cu and Fe content in hypocotyls were qualified to analyze the relationship between ethylene and mobilization of these elements. Results The results showed that ACS expression, ACS enzyme activity and ethylene emission peaked at 1 and 7 d after sowing. AVG inhibited ethylene production, promoted the hypocotyls length, ACS expression and its activity, concentrations of total and HCl-extractable Zn, and HCl-extractable Fe in hypocotyls, while ACC caused opposite effects. AVG and ACC treatment had no significantly effects on total and HCl-extractable Ca, Cu and HCl-extractable Mn. Total Mn concentration was promoted by AVG at 1, 3, and 5 d significantly, while ACC treatment tended to have no significantly effects on Mn concentration. Conclusion These findings suggested that ethylene is at least partly involved in the regulation of soybean seed germination. Remobilization of Zn and Fe may be negatively regulated by ethylene.