Journal Article

Deterioration of western redcedar (<i>Thuja plicata</i> Donn ex D. Don) seeds: protein oxidation and <i>in vivo</i> NMR monitoring of storage oils

Victor V. Terskikh, Ying Zeng, J. Allan Feurtado, Michael Giblin, Suzanne R. Abrams and Allison R. Kermode

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 4, pages 765-777
Published in print March 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:

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Deterioration of conifer seeds during prolonged storage has a negative impact on reforestation and gene conservation efforts. Western redcedar (Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don) is a species of tremendous value to the forest industry. The seeds of this species are particularly prone to viability losses during long-term storage. Reliable tools to assess losses in seed viability during storage and their underlying causes, as well as the development of methods to prevent storage-related deterioration of seeds are needed by the forest industry. In this work, various imaging methods and biochemical analyses were applied to study deterioration of western redcedar seeds. Seedlots that exhibited poor germination performance, i.e. those that had experienced the greatest losses of viability during prolonged storage, exhibited greater abundance of oxidized proteins, detected by protein oxidation assays, and more pronounced changes in their in vivo 13C NMR spectra, most likely due to storage oil oxidation. The proportion of oxidized proteins also increased when seeds were subjected to accelerated ageing treatments. Detection of oxidized oils and proteins may constitute a reliable and useful tool for the forest industry.

Keywords: Conifer seeds; in vivo NMR spectroscopy; MRI; oil peroxidation; protein carbonylation; seed deterioration; seed storage; storage lipids; western redcedar

Journal Article.  8293 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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