Influence of accelerated and natural aging on free radical levels in soybean seeds



Embryonic axes and cotyledons of three soybean (Glycine max L. cv. Gudzon) seed lots designated as “normal”, “naturally aged” and “acceleratedly aged” were analyzed for their organic free radical contents. No signals of free radicals were found in ESR spectra from cotyledonary material of the three samples investigated. High levels of organic free radicals were observed in the embryonic axes. There were significant differences in the free radical contents of the embryonic axes: the relative values of free radicals were 100, 190 and 170% for samples aged normally, naturally and in an accelerated manner, respectively. These results point to the physiological role of the embryonic axes during natural or accelerated aging of seeds, notwithstanding that the axis is a small part as compared to the cotyledons. It is suggested that lipid peroxidation in embryonic axes may play an important role in the seed deterioration during aging.