Brevia

A Compound from Smoke That Promotes Seed Germination

Science  13 Aug 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5686, pp. 977
DOI: 10.1126/science.1099944

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Abstract

Exposure of seeds to aerosol smoke or crude smoke extracts stimulates the germination of a number of fire-dependent and fire-independent plant species. We now report the identity of a germination-promoting compound present in plant- and cellulose-derived smoke. The structure of this compound, deduced from spectroscopic analysis and confirmed by synthesis, was shown to be that of the butenolide 3-methyl-2H-furo[2,3-c]pyran-2-one (1). Here we show that 1 promotes germination of a number of plant species at a level similar to that observed with plant-derived smoke water.

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