Nitrate reductase in detached embryos may serve as a marker of the preharvest tolerance of wheat seeds

  • Z. A. Alikulov L.N.Gumilyev Eurasian National University, Astana
  • G. A. Shalakhmetova al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty
  • Z. G. Aytasheva al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty
  • A. I. Zhussupova al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty
  • A. U. Balmukanov al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty


We have observed an easily determinable parameter indicative of genetic pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) tolerance – the presence of an endosperm factor, presumably ABA, capable of inhibiting nitrate reductase (NR) induction in the embryo in the presence of NO3. This finding has importance not only for the early rapid screening of PHS tolerant of cereal cultivars but may also be an important tool to determine the mechanism of NR inhibition either by genetic repression or by post-translational down regulation of NR activity. In this work we sought a simplerelationship between ABA content and NR activity level that we assumed to be closely related to PHS susceptibility. Studied the relationship between ABA content, dry weight and ability to germinate in seeds of examined wheat varieties resistant to preharvest sprouting Lutescens 70, and unstable – Novosibirskaya 67. The data obtained are shown that the level of ABA reaching its maximum to 40-45 days . The maximum content of ABA for both varieties accounted for 40 days after flowering, when the grains reach maximum wet weight in the future, as the ripening hormone levels quickly decreased with the decrease in fresh weight of grain . The level of ABA in embryos unstable to pre-harvest sprouting wheat Novosibirskaya 67 ranged from 20 to 40% below the level of the hormone in the grains resistant Lutescens 70wheat. The results showed a significant increase in the ability to germinate, since it is a phase 40-45 DAP. Reduction of endogenous ABA content in grains at the final stage of maturation, with a relatively high percentage of germination, can be explained by the need and ensuring to the start of the germination process of the seed.


1. Fang J. and Chu Ch. Abscisic acid and the pre-harvest sprouting in cereals. Plant Signal Behav. 2008. 3(12): 1046–1048.

2. Derera N.F. Preharvest Field Sprouting in Cereals. CRC Press Inc., 1989.

3. Curvers K., Seifi H., Mouille G., De Rycke R., Asselbergh B., Van Hecke A., et al. 2010. Abscisic acid deficiency causes changes in cuticle permeability and pectin composition that influence tomato resistance to Botrytis cinerea. Plant Physiol. 154 847–860. 10.1104/pp.110.158972

4. Adie BAT, Perez-Perez J, Perez-Perez MM, Godoy M, Sanchez-Serrano JJ, Schmelz EA, Solano R. 2007. ABA is an essential signal for plant resistance to pathogens affecting JA biosynthesis and the activation of defenses in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 19: 1665–1681.

5. Walker-Simmons M. ABA levels and sensitivity in developing wheat embryos of sprouting resistant and susceptible cultivars . Plant Physiol. 1987. Vol. 84. pp. 41-46.

6. Steinbach H.S., Benech-Arnold R.L.,Sanches R.A. Hormonal regulation of dormancy in developing sorgum seeds.Plant Physiol. 1999. 113:149-154.

7. Tanner P.D. A relationship between premature sprouting on the cob and molybdenum and nitrogen status of grain maize. Plant and Soil, 1978. 49:427-432.

8. Cairns A.L.P., Modi A.T.,Cowan A.K.Kritzinger J.H. The effects of molybdenum on seed dormancy In: R.H.Ellis,
M.Black, Murdoch A.J. and Hong T.D. eds. Basic and Applied Aspects of seed biology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997.

9. Leydecker, M.T., Moureaux, T., Kraepiel, Y., Schnorr, K., Caboche, M. Molybdenum cofactor mutants, specifically impaired in xanthine dehydrogenase activity and abscisic acid biosynthesis, simultaneously overexpress nitrate reductase. Plant Physiology, 1995, 107, 1427-1431.

10. Parry, A.D., Neill, S.J., Horgan, R. Xantoxin levels and metabolism in the wild-type and wilty mutants of tomato. Planta, 1988. 173, 397-404.

11. Schwarz, G., Mendel, R.R., Ribbe, M.W. Molybdenum cofactors, enzymes and pathways. Nature, 2009. 460, 839–847.

12. Kruse T., Gehl C., Geisler M., Lehrke M., Ringel P., Hallier S., Hansch R., Mendel R.R. Identification and biochemical characterization of molybdenum cofactor-binding proteins from Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2010. 285, 6623–6635.

13. Sekimoto, H., Seo, M., Dohmae, N., Takio, K., Kamiya, Y., Koshiba, T. Cloning and molecular characterization of plant aldehyde oxidase. J. Biol. Chem., 1997. 272, 15280-15285.

14. Ori, N., Eshed, Y., Pinto, P., Paran, I., Zamir, D., Fluhr, R. TAO1, a representative of molybdenum cofactor containing hydroxylases from tomato. J. Biol. Chem., 1997. 272, 1019-1025.

15. Terao M., Kurosaki M., Saltini G., Demontis S., Marini M., Salmona M., Garattini E. Cloning of the cDNA for two aldehyde oxidase and xanthine oxidoreductase. J.Biol.Chem. 2000. 275 (39): 30690-30700.

16. Fang, J., Chai, C., Qian, Q., Li, C., Tang, J., Sun, L., Huang, Z., Guo, X., Sun, C., Liu, M. Mutations of genes in synthesis of the carotenoid precursors of ABA lead to pre-harvest sprouting and photooxidation in rice. Plant Journal, 2008. 54, 177-189.

17. Gerjets T.; Scholefield D.; Foulkes M.J.; Lenton J.R.; Holdsworth M.J. An analysis of dormancy, ABA responsiveness, after-ripening and pre-harvest sprouting in hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) caryopses. Journal of Experimental Botany, 2010. 61, 597-607.

18. Savidov, N.A., Alikulov, Z., Lips, H. Identification of an endogenous NADPH-regenerating system coupled to nitrate reduction in vitro and fungal crude extracts. Plant Science, 1998. 133(1), 33-45.

19. Barabas N.K., Omarov R.T., Erdei L., Lips S.H. Distribution of the Mo-enzymes aldehyde oxidase, xanthine dehydrogenase and nitrate reductase in maize (Zea mays L.) nodal roots as affected by nitrogen and salinity. Plant science, 2000. 155, 49-58.

20. A1ikulov Z., Schieman. Presence of active molybdenum cofactor in dry seeds of wheat and barley. Plant Sci. 1985. 40. 161-165.

21. Kawakami N, Miyake Y., Kzuhiko N. ABA insensitivity and low ABA levels during seed development of non-dormant wheat mutants. J. Exp. Botany. 1997. 48(312): 1415-1421.

22. Finch-Savage W.E., Cadman C.S.C., Toorop P.E., Lynn J.R., Hilhorst H.W.M. Seed dormancy release in Arabidopsis by dry after-ripening, low temperature, nitrate and light shows common quantitative patterns of gene expression directed by environmentally specific sensing Plant Journal, 2007.
51, 60-78.
How to Cite
ALIKULOV, Z. A. et al. Nitrate reductase in detached embryos may serve as a marker of the preharvest tolerance of wheat seeds. International Journal of Biology and Chemistry, [S.l.], v. 9, n. 1, p. 31-37, june 2016. ISSN 2409-370X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 sep. 2020. doi:


pre-harvest sprouting (PHS); nitrate reductase (NR); abscisic acid (ABA); wheat seeds; PHS tolerant cultivar of wheat