Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 16, 2009
Publication Date: August 31, 2011
Citation: Bethke, P.C., Libourel, I., Vitecek, J., Jones, R.L. 2011. Nitric oxide methods in seed biology. In: Kermode, A.R. editor. Seed Dormancy:Methods and Protocols:773 Methods in Molecular Biology. New York, NY:Humana Press. 385-400.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a gaseous, free radical that is involved in many aspects of plant growth, development, and responses to the environment. Compelling evidence points to a central role for NO in the loss of seed dormancy. NO is highly reactive, toxic at high concentrations, and unstable. Methods for applying, removing, and detecting NO have been developed, but experiments using these methods must take into account the reactivity of NO to prevent artifacts. In this chapter, we review contempory methods for using NO in experiments dealing with seed dormancy and germination. The use of NO donors and NO scavengers is discussed. Fluorescent probes for NO detection are also introduced. The assembly and use of equipment for the application of NO gas is described. Finally, details are given for the production of an NO-oxidizer column that can be used to quantify NO production from biological material.