H(2)O(2) is known as a signal molecule in plant cells, but its role in the regulation of aqbscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellic acid (GA) metabolism and hormonal balance is not yet clear. In this study it was found that H(2)O(2) affected the regulation of ABA catabolism and GA biosynthesis during seed imbibition and thus exerted control over seed dormancy and germination. As seen by quantitative RT-PCR (QRT-PCR), H(2)O(2) up-regulated ABA catabolism genes (e.g. CYP707A genes), resulting in a decreased ABA content during imbibition. This action required the participation of nitric oxide (NO), another signal molecule. At the same time, H(2)O(2) also up-regulated GA biosynthesis, as shown by QRT-PCR. When an ABA catabolism mutant, cyp707a2, and an overexpressing plant, CYP707A2-OE, were tested, ABA content was negatively correlated with GA biosynthesis. Exogenously applied GA was able to over-ride the inhibition of germination at low concentrations of ABA, but had no obvious effect when ABA concentrations were high. It is concluded that H(2)O(2) mediates the up-regulation of ABA catabolism, probably through an NO signal, and also promotes GA biosynthesis. High concentrations of ABA inhibit GA biosynthesis but a balance of these two hormones can jointly control the dormancy and germination of Arabidopsis seeds.
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