Dehydration intolerant seeds of Ardisia species accumulate storage and stress proteins during development.
Seeds of two commercially marketable small shrubs, Ardisia crenata and Ardisia japonica, do not germinate if they are stored for more than few weeks in conditions where they are allowed to dehydrate, and they are considered as recalcitrant. The berries of these plants remain attached for a long period of time after an approximately 34 weeks period of development. The proteins in the developing seeds, germinating seeds, and seeds stored for various periods of time in moist or dry conditions and at 10°C or 25°C were examined by a polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and an immunoblot analysis with antibodies to dehydrin and oleosin. Both dehydrin- and oleosin-like proteins were detected in early stages of seed development, as were proteins that are likely to function as seed storage proteins. Storage of seeds in dry conditions induced the expression of both dehydrin- and oleosin-like proteins, but only after an 8 weeks storage period. The levels of these proteins were considerably lower in the less dehydration tolerant A. japonica.