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Protective effect of ascorbic acid on seedling growth and embryo cellular ultrastructure in aged Elymus sibiricus seeds

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Siberian wildrye (Elymus sibiricus) is one of the important perennial grasses for recovering degraded rangeland and producing hay. However, the vigour of seeds progressively decreases during storage. This experiment considered the effects of asco rbic acid pre-treatment on aged Siberian wildrye seeds (accelerated ageing for 0, 24, 48 and 72 hours at 45°C and 100% relative humidity), and explored the intrinsic mechanisms by measuring seed germination, seedling vigour, membrane integrity, lipid peroxidation and embryo cellular ultrastructure. Ascorbic acid pre-treatment alleviated the reductions in seed germination, vigour index and seedling growth. Correspondingly, the increase of electrical conductivity and malondialdehyde (MDA) content of the seeds was also alleviated, indicating that membrane integrity was protected. In addition, ascorbic acid pre-treatment had a significant effect on protecting the ultrastructure of embryo cells and mitochondria, especially when ageing duration was no more than 48 hours. Ascorbic acid pre-treatment reduced the damage to the ultrastructure of embryo cells caused by lipid peroxidation and provided an effective method for enhancing seed vigour and longevity in storage.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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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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