Effects of Nitric Oxide Scavengers on Thermoinhibition of Seed Germination in Arabidopsis Thaliana

Plant seeds sometimes do not germinate at elevated temperature. The thermoinhibition mechanisms of seed germination have yet not revealed. Here we describe a chemical approach to improve seed germination at high temperature. We compared the temperature response of germination between wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana and its T-DNA insertion mutant ΔAtGLB3 that lacks a functional gene encoding GLB3, a homologue of bacterial truncated Hb (trHb). Under optimal temperature conditions (e.g. 22°C), the seeds of ΔAtGLB3 and the wild type germinated at a frequency near 100%. In contrast, at 32°C the seeds of ΔAtGLB3 did not germinate while wild-type seeds retained the same high germination frequency. The germination of ΔAtGLB3 at 32°C was partially restored by supplementation with the nitric oxide-specific scavenger 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide (carboxy-PTIO; cPTIO), 3-(3,4-dihydroxycinnamoyl)quinic acid, bovine serum Hb, or isoprene. The results presented in this study suggest that chemical scavengers for reactive nitrogen species potentially improve seed germination at high temperature.