Water-soluble phenolic compounds in the coat control germination and peroxidase reactivation in Triticum aestivum seeds

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In this work, we investigated the inhibitory effects of water-soluble phenolic compounds (WSPCs) in the coat of after-ripening wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seeds on the processes of germination and peroxidase reactivation. Wheat bran has a WSPC content of 862.5 μg gallic acid equivalent g−1 dry weight. When seeds were incubated in the water extract of bran, germination, peroxidase reactivation, and coleoptile and radicle growth were suppressed in a WSPC concentration-dependent manner. The inhibitory effects were significantly ameliorated by removing WSPCs from bran extract by treating with 1% insoluble polyvinylpolypyrrolidone. Pretreatment of seeds with 0.1% H2O2 reduced the WSPC content in the coat, which was confirmed using Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy. With H2O2 pretreatment, seed germination, peroxidase reactivation, and post-germination seedling growth were significantly stimulated. Application of the known phenolics caffeic acid, feruic acid, or vanillin to the germination medium blocked seed germination and suppressed peroxidase reactivation. The results described here indicate that WSPCs act as endogenous inhibitors in the coat to control germination of Triticum aestivum seeds, and that inhibition of germination is at least partially caused by suppressing peroxidase reactivation.

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