Investigating the effects of melatonin application on the ageing process of pepper seeds

A. Korkmaz, Ş. Köklü, G. Yakupoğlu
Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is present in evolutionary distant organisms like bacteria, algae, invertebrates, vertebrates and plants and it may serve as a photoperiodic and circadian rhythm regulator as well as a universal antioxidant. Most of the data on melatonin, being a broad spectrum antioxidant, comes from investigations conducted on whole plant level studies but no data are available on the involvement of melatonin on seed ageing. The main aim of this project is to identify the possible effects of melatonin on the seed ageing process. For this purpose, pepper seeds were treated with different melatonin concentrations (0, 5 or 25 µM) for one day after which they were stored for up to a year at room temperature (25°C). The effects of exogenous application of melatonin on seed ageing were assessed periodically (0, 4, 8 and 12 months after storage) with various tests and analyses. The results showed that the seed melatonin content varied significantly during one year storage, reaching its peak during winter. Storing the seeds under room temperature for up to one year caused significant reductions in germination percentage and rate and increased electrolyte leakage from the seeds. On the other hand, pre-treatment with melatonin reduced seed deterioration significantly by increasing the activities of antioxidant enzymes and restoring membrane properties. Therefore, it could be deduced from the results of this research that melatonin could be used to slow the ageing process in seeds.
Korkmaz, A., Köklü, Ş. and Yakupoğlu, G. (2018). Investigating the effects of melatonin application on the ageing process of pepper seeds. Acta Hortic. 1204, 9-16
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1204.2
Capsicum annuum, germination, melatonin, storage

Acta Horticulturae