Water content and GA(3)-induced embryonic cell expansion explain Euterpe edulis seed germination, rather than seed reserve mobilisation
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Euterpe Mulls is a key ecological species in the Atlantic forest. However, illegal plant extraction has lowered its natural occurrence in many areas. A previous study showed that gibherellic acid (GA(3)) applied 12 days after sowing (DAS) increases the germination performance of this species, but the study did not find the reasons for this result. We reassessed the effects of the seed water content (51, 47, 43, and 39%) on the germination of this species. We hypothesised that after imbibition was initiated, the stage at which GA(3) is applied to the seed would he irrelevant, and the anatomical changes in the embryo that are caused by GA(3) would be observed more than 15 days after GA(3) application. We also investigated whether GA(3) induced seed reserve mobilisation. We observed the same percentage of germinated seeds regardless of the seed water content. However, the rate and time of germination were higher as the seed water content increased. GA(3) improved the germination performance independently of the date on which GA(3) was applied (0 or 12 DAS). This improvement was due to an embryonic cell expansion that was observed 60 DAS, rather than any seed reserve (carbohydrates and lipids) mobilisation that was caused by GA(3).