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Physiological changes in oat seeds aged at different moisture contents

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Oxygen radical, antioxidant enzyme and membrane lipid peroxidation levels were measured in order to explore the intrinsic mechanisms of deterioration in oat seeds stored for 6 and 12 months (LTS6 and LTS12 treatments) at 4°C with different moisture contents (4, 10, 16, 22, 28, 34 and 40%). Seeds of different moisture contents were also aged for 48 hours at 45°C (HTA treatment). Germination declined significantly the higher the seed moisture content in all three treatments. Similar trends of declining activities of catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) as moisture content increased were observed. In accordance with the antioxidant enzyme activity change, O2·- production rate and malondialdehyde (MDA) content increased in the HTA seeds as moisture content increased, indicating that antioxidant systems could play an important role in determining the level of seed deterioration under HTA. However, similar O2·- production rate and MDA content change with changes in moisture content were not observed in either LTS6 and LTS12 seeds. In addition, ultrastructural microscopic analysis showed that serious alterations of embryo cells occurred in seeds with ≥ 22% moisture content for all three treatments, including broken plasma membranes and swollen mitochondria. It is concluded that the mechanism of seed deterioration caused by HTA differed from that caused by LTS6 and LTS12.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2014

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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