Skip to main content

Tocopherols, tocotrienols and fatty acids as indicators of natural ageing in Pinus sylvestris seeds

Buy Article:

$59.35 plus tax (Refund Policy)


During long-term storage, Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris L.) seeds are susceptible to ageing, leading to declined vigour and poor germinability. To characterize biochemical changes associated with this ageing, vitamin E and fatty acid compositions of Scots pine seeds stored for 3–31 years were analysed. The seeds contained seven homologues of the vitamin E family: α-, -, - and -tocopherols (T) and α-, - and -tocotrienol (T3). The major tocopherol was -T, constituting on average 62.1% of total vitamin E. Total vitamin E concentration was markedly lower in older seeds, e.g. 21-year-old seeds contained 52% less vitamin E than the reference for high-quality seed. The α-T concentration was affected the most by seed age, whereas the -T concentration decreased more gradually and the concentrations of the other E vitamers seemed to remain relatively constant during natural ageing. Ageing also induced changes in the fatty acid composition of the seeds, e.g . a 29.6% reduction in the unsaturation/saturation ratio. These biochemical changes were associated with decreased germinability and increased electrolyte leakage.

Keywords: Germinability; Scots pine; vitamin E

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Division of Pharmaceutical Biology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, Finland 2: Division of Food Chemistry, Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, University of Helsinki, Finland 3: Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: October 1, 2005

More about this publication?

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more