Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 155–161 | Cite as

Nitrite, sodium nitroprusside, potassium ferricyanide and hydrogen peroxide release dormancy of Amaranthus retroflexus seeds in a nitric oxide-dependent manner

  • Xuanyu Liu
  • Zhijun Deng
  • Hongyan Cheng
  • Xinhua He
  • Songquan Song
Original Paper


Nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are important regulators involving various processes of plant growth and development. Amaranthus retroflexus L. seeds possess a relative dormancy property that means freshly collected seeds can only germinate over a limited, high temperature range. Here, we show that the relative dormancy of A. retroflexus seeds could be significantly released following treatments with exogenous NO/cyanide (CN) donors such as nitrite, gases evolved from acidified nitrite, sodium nitroprusside (SNP), potassium ferricyanide (Fe(III)CN) and gases evolved from SNP or Fe(III)CN solutions, as well as exogenously supplied ROS, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). However, the effectiveness varied among these chemicals. Gases evolved from acidified nitrite displayed maximum effect while H2O2 had minimum effect. We also show that the effects of these compounds could be significantly inhibited by NO specific scavenger 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl 3-oxide (PTIO), indicating that NO signaling pathway might play a central role in the dormancy release and germination of A. retroflexus seeds, while both ROS and CN might act through NO-dependent signaling cascades.


Nitric oxide Nitrite Potassium ferricyanide Reactive oxygen species Seed dormancy Sodium nitroprusside 





Coefficient of rate of germination


Potassium ferricyanide


Nitric oxide


2-Phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl 3-oxide


Reactive oxygen species


Sodium nitroprusside



We are grateful to Minggao He, Qingyun Wang, Xie Li and Jianqing Ye (Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences) for assisting with germination assays. We also thank Prof. Xiaobai Jin (Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences) for revising the manuscript. This research was financially supported by National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (30870223).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuanyu Liu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Zhijun Deng
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hongyan Cheng
    • 1
  • Xinhua He
    • 2
  • Songquan Song
    • 1
  1. 1.Group of Seed Physiology and Biotechnology, Institute of Botanythe Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Centre for Ecosystem Management, School of Natural ResourcesEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  3. 3.Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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