Turgay Cakmak, Okkes Atici, Guleray Agar and Serap Sunar
This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of long-term natural aging on germination capability and several biochemical characteristics regarding antioxidative response of both the dry seeds and the during germination of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) seeds stored for 42 years. Percent germination ratio of the seeds was monitored for 7 days. The activities of catalase, peoroxidase and superoxide dismutase, lipid peroxidation level, and the contents of phenolic matter and H2O2 were tested in both dry seeds and germinating seeds on 1st, 3 rd and 7th days of germination. On the final day of seed germination, the percent germination was 35% in the 42-years old seeds while %96 in the control seeds (non-aged). In addition, the long-term aging caused an important increase in lipid peroxidation and total phenolic content in the aged dry seeds. Long-term aged seeds showed low H2O2 content and the activities of catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase. Decreased germination ability of the aged legume seeds were well correlated with the increase in lipid peroxidation levels and the decrease in the activities of enzymatic antioxidants studied. However, during germination, the differences in biochemical parameters studied were not statistically significant in the aged seeds in comparison to their controls.
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