It is necessary to find convenient and measurable criteria for the evaluation of seeds/embryos quality before germination because of a long time interval between the preparation of seeds or embryos (before germination) and obtaining the seedlings or emblings. The success of all treatments before germination is assessed by the quality of the newly formed plants only. The aim of our experiments is to estimate the potential of seeds harvested from different sources and/or of the somatic embryos developed in different embryogenic cultures just before germination, to develop into high quality plants. During the search of a suitable method we selected 3 substances to measure: 1) ABA (abscisic acid) as the phytohormone which controls the dormancy in seeds and which regulates the maturation of somatic embryos; 2) IAA (indolyl-3-acetic acid) as the phytohormone which regulates the growth and the development of embryos and whole seedlings and 3) fumarase as the enzyme which is often correlated with the dormancy and the germination of seeds. Fumarase is the key enzyme in mitochondrial metabolism. Its activity indicates the respiration rate and the ability of seeds to use stored reserves.
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