Hormonal Complex and Ultrastructure of Maturing Aesculus hippocastanum Seeds

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The content and temporal changes in the endogenous IAA, cytokinins, gibberellin-like compounds (GLC), and ABA were determined during horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum L.) seed development (the stages of embryo axis development, its active growth, and storage compound deposition). The active growth of the embryo was characterized by the highest amounts of free phytohormones. Later, by the end of seed maturation, we observed the accumulation of the bound forms of IAA and ABA and a trend to a decrease in the content of free IAA, zeatin, and GLC (butanol fraction). The electron-microscopic examination of the embryo from the mature seed demonstrated that some structural components of the cytoplasm were similar in the cells of embryo axes and cotyledons. During the entire period of maturation, the embryo cells preserved native vacuoles and protein bodies were not formed. Thus, the structure of cotyledonary and axial cells and the distribution of free and bound phytohormones in the horse-chestnut seeds are similar to those in maturing seeds characterized by exogenous dormancy.

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