Development of ABA Antagonists to Overcome ABA- and Low Temperature-Induced Inhibition of Seed Germination in Canola, Lentil, and Soybean


ABA antagonists have potential application as growth regulators to improve germination and seedling growth at low temperatures for oilseeds and pulses grown in regions with short seasons such as those in western Canada. Towards development of practical ABA antagonists, a series of 3′-substituted ABA analogs were synthesized and screened in seed germination assays in canola (Brassica napus), lentil (Lens culinaris), and soybean (Glycine max) at low temperature and in overcoming exogenous ABA. The most promising analog, ABA 1009, was selected for further germination testing of dose responses in canola, lentil, and soybean. Analog ABA 1009 at 100 µM was effective in overcoming ABA (10 µM)-induced inhibition for canola, lentil, and soybean germination at ambient temperature, and also promoted germination at low temperature for canola (5 °C).

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Abscisic acid


Pyrabactin resistance1-like ABA receptor


Type 2C protein phosphatase


National Research Council of Canada


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


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This research was undertaken thanks in part to funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (project 347165), by Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) from Government of Saskatchewan (project 20150111), a research grant from Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (project BRE1520). We thank Dr. Sally Vail AAFC for providing canola cv. Excel seeds and Dr. Steve Robinson AAFC for his guidance on the canola pouch germination assays.

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Correspondence to Suzanne Abrams.

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With the exception of S. Abrams who has shares in ABAzyne BioSciences, the authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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Song, D., Zhou, J., Lai, L. et al. Development of ABA Antagonists to Overcome ABA- and Low Temperature-Induced Inhibition of Seed Germination in Canola, Lentil, and Soybean. J Plant Growth Regul 39, 1403–1413 (2020).

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  • Abscisic acid
  • Antagonism
  • Growth hormones
  • Seed germination
  • Oilseed and legumes