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J Exp Bot. 2003 Mar;54(384):1057-67.

Mechanisms of seed ageing under different storage conditions for Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek: lipid peroxidation, sugar hydrolysis, Maillard reactions and their relationship to glass state transition.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260.


Two primary biochemical reactions in seed ageing (lipid peroxidation and non-enzymatic protein glycosylation with reducing sugars) have been studied under different seed water contents and storage temperatures, and the role of the glassy state in retarding biochemical deterioration examined. The viability loss of Vigna radiata seeds during storage is associated with Maillard reactions; however, the contribution of primary biochemical reactions varies under different storage conditions. Biochemical deterioration and viability loss are greatly retarded in seeds stored below a high critical temperature (approximately 40 degrees C above glass transition temperature). This high critical temperature corresponds to the cross-over temperature (T(c)) of glass transition where molecular dynamics changes from a solid-like system to a normal liquid system. The data show that seed ageing slows down significantly, even before seed tissue enters into the glassy state.

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