What metabolic processes does a dormant embryo in a seed carry out?

Seeds will not germinate, either because of a lack of favourable conditions, seed hibernation, or because of a genetically pre-determined physical or physiological mechanism preventing germination before a specific period or event. In addition to not germinating due to those factors, seeds can also experience dormancy.

With these germination preventing mechanisms in place, the seed will not germinate in the absence of specific triggers. But the seed viability period is limited in which it germinates if the trigger is available.

If any, what metabolic processes do seeds carry out in their dormant/hibernating state, on cessation of which, the seed becomes non-viable?

Does the embryo in a dessicated dormant seed respire, excrete, ingest etc, though with a reduced speed? If it does, is the depletion of the respiratory substrate which results in termination of seed viability?

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    $\begingroup$ hormones gibberelin and absciscic acid play antagonistic roles in seed germination. $\endgroup$ – biogirl Jan 2 '14 at 10:14
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    $\begingroup$ @biogirllajja Thanks :), But I want to know what happens before germination, when the seed is just dormant., not germinating but viable. $\endgroup$ – stochastic13 Jan 13 '14 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ @biogirl gibberellins actually promote germination! To Satwik Pasani this is a very interesting question. I've done some reading on dormancy and germination in the past but I don't remember reading much about the metabolic state of the embryo in dormancy, probably because so little metabolic activity actually occurs in the seed. Some seeds can remain dormant but viable for 50+ years because they use so few resources. I'll answer if I find anything! $\endgroup$ – C_Z_ May 15 '15 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ @CactusWoman Much appreciated. I also want to know what metabolic activity occurs therein. $\endgroup$ – stochastic13 May 17 '15 at 15:50
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    $\begingroup$ @cactuswoman Hi! What I meant was that gibberellin promotes germination and absciscic acid inhibits it. So they are antagonistic to each other :) $\endgroup$ – biogirl May 18 '15 at 12:41

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