We studied cell cycle events in embryos of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv Moneymaker) seeds during imbibition in water and during osmoconditioning ("priming") using both quantitative and cytological analysis of DNA synthesis and -tubulin accumulation. Most embryonic nuclei of dry, untreated control seeds were arrested in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. This indicated the absence of DNA synthesis (the S-phase), as confirmed by the absence of bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. In addition, -tubulin was not detected on western blots and microtubules were not present. During imbibition in water, DNA synthesis was activated in the radicle tip and then spread toward the cotyledons, resulting in an increase in the number of nuclei in G2. Concomitantly, -tubulin accumulated and was assembled into microtubular cytoskeleton networks. Both of these cell cycle events preceded cell expansion and division and subsequent growth of the radicle through the seed coat. The activation of DNA synthesis and the formation of microtubular cytoskeleton networks were also observed throughout the embryo when seeds were osmoconditioned. However, this pre-activation of the cell cycle appeared to become arrested in the G2 phase since no mitosis was observed. The pre-activation of cell cycle events in osmoconditioned seeds appeared to be correlated with enhanced germination performance during re-imbibition in water.
|Publication status||Published - 2000|