Process of seed germination

Process of seed germination:

Most of the seeds germinate, whenever they are provided with oxygen, water, and their dormancy is over. The main step of seed germination is explained below:

1. Imbibition:

The initial step in germination is imbibition or uptake of water by the dehydrated seed. The seeds whenever placed in moist soil absorb water via micropyle. Imbibition causes the seed to swell as the cellular parts are dehydrated. Imbibition occurs with great force. This ruptures the seed coat and enables the radicle to emerge. This causes swelling of seeds and development of the great force termed as imbibition pressure. The dry seeds packed in a bottle having water can crack it as they imbibe water and swell.

2. Respiration:

Imbition makes the embryo cells active and causes recommencement of metabolic activities. Their respiration is primarily anaerobic. The cells hold some simple polysaccharides for functioning as respiratory substrate. Whenever the anaerobic respiration reaches at peak, the mitochondria differentiate in the embryo cells. The respiration now becomes aerobic as oxygen begins entering the seed coats.

3. Mobilization of reserve food:

The activated embryo cells persuade the production of hormones and digestion of the reserve food. Depending on the nature of seed, the resource might be stored mainly in the endosperm (example: castor, cereal grains and other monocots) or in the cotyledons (example: many dicotyledons like pea, bean, gram, and so on.) The cells that are rich in proteins generate and secrete hydrolyzing enzymes. Such enzymes bring around the digestion of the reserve foods. The latter are changed to sugars, amino acids and other soluble substances. They are translocated to the embryo.

4. Growth of embryo:

On the receipt of soluble food, the cells of embryo axis endure division and expansion. The radicle end of the embryo axis is the initial to enlarge. It grows out of the seed coats and passes downwardly to the soil to establish itself as the main root. The plumule too comes out of the seed and soil to set up itself as shoot.

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