Institute of Genetics
Academy of Sciences of Moldova

Physiological effect of the distant relation between plants conditioned by the “memory” of the system of two jointly swelling seeds of maize

— Maslobrod, S

Previously we (Maslobrod et al., Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter, 2004) have shown:

  1. The effect of the system of two jointly swelling seeds — primary morphological mirror symmetrization of seedlings grown of these seeds (a pair consists of a left and a right seedling);

  2. The “memory” of this system-preservation of the mirror symmetrization when germinating separately after their preliminary joint swelling within 24 hours;

  3. The transformation of the mirror symmetry into the mirror asymmetry under the stress influence on one of the seeds of the pair after their separation and further separate germination (a pair consists of a left and a left or a right and a right germ).

It was supposed that an informational signal of the structure and function of the germ grown from the seed-inductor of the signal transfers from the seed exposed to the stress to the other seed of the pair. The availability of such a signal can be undoubtedly proved in case of discovering of physiological changes in the object-receptor of the signal transferred by the object-inductor of the signal.

For this purpose we used physiological parameters — alteration of seeds’ germination and of the germs’ growth compared with the control (separate germination of the pair-seeds without stress). The number of seeds of every variant is no less than 100. The object is a simple maize hybrid, “Debut.”

One of the pair’s seeds was exposed to some extreme stresses:

  1. High temperature (+100°C, boiled water)
  2. Low temperature (-5°C, air)
  3. Concentrated solution of salt (NaCl)

All the seeds perished.

The germination received in the variants 1–3 and the control in two experiments accordingly in %:

1) 51, 47, 40, 35 ; 2) 64, 58, 58, 48. As you see the second seeds of the experimental pairs showed an essential increasing of germination in all the variants. The character of distinctions according to the stress types remained (in the second controlling experiment).

The effect appeared to be depended of the object’s genotype what was shown in the next experiment. The objects were hybrids of first and second generations (F1 and F2). We used seeds from the same cob. Then we made up pairs pure (F1 F1 and F2 F2) and mixed ones (F1 F2 and F2 F1). The second seed of the pair was exposed to stresses: 1) +100°C, 2) +3°C (within 5 hours), 3) +10°C (within 48 hours). In the first seeds of the pairs that were not exposed to stresses we noticed the following meanings of germination in the control and the experiment in variants: 1) F1 F1; 2) F2 F2; 3) F1 F2; 4) F2 F1: At the first stress 1) 74 and 90; 2) 56 and 88; 3) 85 and 84; 4) 59 and 71. So at the first stress it was discovered an essential increasing of seeds germination in variants F1F1; F2F2 and F2 F1 and the absence of the effect in F1F2 (compared with the control). Evidently the signal from F1 is stronger than from F2. On the germs height we received the following meanings in mm: 1) 55.4 ± 1.40 and 67.8 ± 0.95; 2) 51.2 ± 2.56 and 57.4 ± 2.45; 3) 61.4 ± 2.59 and 62.1 ± 2.65; 4) 49.1 ± 2.01 and 54.2 ± 1.98. So the most distinctive differences were received in F1F1 and F2F1.

At the second stress it was discovered the following meanings of germination: 1) 64 and 72; 2) 54 and 38; 3) 42 and 72; 4) 24 and 28. So it is noticeable the stimulation in F1F1 and F2F1, inhibition in F2F2 and the absence of the effect in F1F2.

At the third stress the germination is: 1) 32 and 44; 2) 26 and 42; 3) 84 and 90; 4) 92 and 100. So it was discovered the stimulation in all the variants. On the germs’ length we received the following meanings: 1) 9.9 ± 0.83 and 14.1 ± 0.63; 2) 5.5 ± 0.43 and 6.5 ± 0.50; 3) 10.3 ± 0.64 and 10.7 ± 0.39; 4) 7.8 ± 0.40 and 6.3 ± 0.41. So the stimulation was only in F1F1 and F2F1, and again genotype F1 induced a stronger signal than genotype F2.

Thus, for the first time we received physiological effects of non-local connection between components of the plants’ system previously composed of two contacting seeds of plants (in our case, of maize).

Please Note: As is the policy with the printed version, notes submitted to the Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter may be cited only with consent of the authors.

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