Changes in nucleic acid levels associated with improved germination performance of tomato seeds after low temperature presowing treatment
Low temperature presowing treatment (LTPST) of tomato seeds, var. Moneymaker, increases their rate of germination. During this treatment there is a large increase in nucleic acid content, especially rRNA, within the seeds. Denaturing gel electrophoresis indicates that the quality of this RNA improves during LTPST. Although replacement of fragmented rRNA may be an important prerequisite for successful germination, the data show that this is unlikely to be the immediate cause of more rapid seed germination. When compared with untreated controls during subsequent germination, treated seeds show reduced rates of nucleic acid accumulation and reduced RNA polymerase activity per unit DNA, implying that rRNA synthesis within these seeds is under some measure of stringent control. The association between nucleic acid metabolism and germination is discussed.