Importance of methionine biosynthesis for Arabidopsis seed germination and seedling growth

K. Gallardo, C. Job, S.P.C. Groot, M. Puype, H. Demol, J. VandeKerckhove, D. Job

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    Proteomics of Arabidopsis seeds revealed the differential accumulation during germination of two housekeeping enzymes. The first corresponded to methionine synthase that catalyses the last step in the plant methionine biosynthetic pathway. This protein was present at low level in dry mature seeds, and its level was increased strongly at 1-day imbibition, prior to radicle emergence. Its level was not increased further at 2-day imbibition, coincident with radicle emergence. However, its level in 1-day imbibed seeds strongly decreased upon subsequent drying of the imbibed seeds back to the original water content of the dry mature seeds. The second enzyme corresponded to S-adenosylmethionine synthetase that catalyses the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine from methionine and ATP. In this case, this enzyme was detected in the form of two isozymes with different pI and Mr. Both proteins were absent in dry mature seeds and in 1-day imbibed seeds, but specifically accumulated at the moment of radicle protrusion. Arabidopsis seed germination was strongly delayed in the presence of dl-propargylglycine, a specific inhibitor of methionine synthesis. Furthermore, this compound totally inhibited seedling growth. These phenotypic effects were largely alleviated upon methionine supplementation in the germination medium. The results indicated that methionine synthase and S-adenosylmethionine synthetase are fundamental components controlling metabolism in the transition from a quiescent to a highly active state during seed germination. Moreover, the observed temporal patterns of accumulation of these proteins are consistent with an essential role of endogenous ethylene in Arabidopsis only after radicle protrusion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)238-247
    JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • organic farming
    • seed germination
    • seed physiology
    • scientific research

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