"Medicago marina (L.) is a Mediterranean species whose seeds show strong dormancy that prevents germination.. We used an integrated approach of physiological analyses and proteomics to investigate the. mechanisms that control M. marina dormancy\/germination and that underlie stress tolerance. First, we. evaluated the effects on dormancy breaking of the following treatments: mechanical scarification, freezing. at −20 ◦C, storage for 4 months and heating at 100 ◦C for 1 h. Mechanical scarification and freezing. were the most effective treatments in overcoming dormancy. The role of abscisic acid (ABA) in M. marina. dormancy was studied by ELISA immuno-enzymatic assay. The ABA content of germinated and nongerminated. mature (control) and treated seeds was determined. The level of ABA was higher in treated. seeds than in control seeds; the most significant increase occurred in the heated seeds. A comparison of. the ABA level in the germinated, control and treated seeds suggests that different mechanisms modulate. ABA content in response to different stresses, and that a specific ABA-signalling pathway regulates germination.. Proteomic analysis revealed 46 proteins differentially expressed between treated and untreated. seeds; 14 of these proteins were subsequently identified by mass spectrometry. Several of the proteins. identified are important factors in the stress response, and are involved in such diverse functions as lipid. metabolism, protein folding and chromatin protection. Lastly, an analysis of the phosphoproteome maps. showed that the function of many proteins in seeds subjected to temperature treatment is modulated. through post-translational modifications."