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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (11): 2690-2698    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63252-X
Special Issue: 玉米遗传育种合辑Maize Genetics · Breeding · Germplasm Resources 玉米耕作栽培合辑Maize Physiology · Biochemistry · Cultivation · Tillage
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Giving maize an excited start – Effects of dopamine on maize germination
CHENG Hang-yuan1, WANG Xing1, 2, FENG Tian-yu1, 2, PENG Chuan-xi1, 2, WANG Wei1, YANG Mu-yu1, ZHOU Yu-yi1, 2 
1 College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P.R.China
2 Engineering Research Center of Plant Growth Regulator, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100193, P.R.China
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Dopamine (DA) is a neurotransmitter which takes charge of brain activities about memory and self-stimulation behavior in animals.  Interestingly, our results suggest that DA could also give maize an “excited state”.  The results showed that 1  mmol L–1 DA promoted maize germination by 23.2% significantly, and accelerated the growth rate of roots and shoots by 21.4 and 24.7%, respectively.  As we all known, abscisic acid (ABA) is the key hormone involved in seed dormancy.  In our research, ABA levels in roots and shoots dramatically decreased by 16.45 and 57.57%, respectively.  To further investigate how DA reduces the ABA level in budding seed, we studied ABA synthesis and catabolism pathway.  Specific expression of key ABA-synthesis genes, such as ZmNCED1, ZmNCED3 and ZmZEP were down-regulated by DA.  Simultaneously, the expression levels of ABA8OX1a and ABA8OX1b which are major transcripts of ABA 8´-hydroxylase in ABA catabolism were up-regulated at least 1.5- and 4.6-fold, respectively.  Our results enriched the functions of animal hormones in plants.
Keywords:  dopamine (DA)        maize germination        ABA synthesis        ABA catabolism  
Received: 31 March 2020   Accepted:
Fund: This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0300405-2).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence ZHOU Yu-yi, E-mail:   

Cite this article: 

CHENG Hang-yuan, WANG Xing, FENG Tian-yu, PENG Chuan-xi, WANG Wei, YANG Mu-yu, ZHOU Yu-yi. 2020. Giving maize an excited start – Effects of dopamine on maize germination. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(11): 2690-2698.

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