Dormancy - Plant Growth Substances
Dormancy can be defined as a state of suspended growth and metabolism. When most plants are exposed to seasonal periods of very inclement weather during which they would be damaged or killed if some protective mechanism did not exist. The most common safeguard against freezing cold or extreme dry heat is dormancy. Dormancy takes many forms like seed dormancy and bud dormancy. Dormancy as a state is marked by very low levels of water content; low metabolic rates, tolerance to low temperatures and dry conditions, etc. Dormancy is 'innate' (because of certain inbuilt causes and controlled genetically) in some cases or 'induced' by external factors in other cases. Induced dormancy is avoidable if dormancy inducible external factors are avoided.
Dormancy is a defense mechanism against winter frost or summer drought and is a necessary part of the lives of many plants. Dormancy must occur at the right time. It must last for a sufficient time, and it must be relieved or broken when the conditions are right for resumption of growth. There are, four basic questions that' must be asked about dormancy of a particular plant or organ. What are the environmental signals that start the process, and how are they perceived? What is the duration of dormancy? A timing mechanism appears to be necessary to ensure that the plant does not accidentally reawaken during unfavorable conditions. What is the nature of dormancy and what are the mechanisms for bringing about the dormant condition? Dormancy is not just an inactivation of metabolism, but frequently involves the development of specialised organs (for example, bud scales) or substances (for example, gummy waterproofing materials): Dormancy is evidently a programmed developmental event that requires specialised synthetic metabolism in addition to turning of metabolic activities.