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Abstract
Effect of germination, seed abrasion and seed size on polyphenol oxidase assay activity in wheat. Plant Breeding 120:369-373
Demeke,T., Chang,H.G. and Morris, C.F.
Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) is one of the major enzymes responsible for browning of wheat food products. Wheat cultivars differ in PPO activity and plant breeders wish to select germplasm and cultivars with low PPO activities. Prior to harvest, seeds may be exposed to conditions conducive to preharvest sprouting and mechanical dam- age may occur during harvesting and subsequent handling. Sprout- ing, mechanical damage and seed size may affect PPO assay activity and therefore impinge upon the breeder's ability to accurately select low PPO genotypes. The effects of incipient germination, mechanical abrasion and seed size on PPO assay activity were investigated using the cultivars `Klasic' (hard white spring, high PPO), `Penawawa' (soft white spring, high PPO) and `ID377s' (hard white spring, low PPO). The influence of embryo vs. distal portions of the seed on PPO assay activity was also examined. PPO activity was assayed with constant mixing using L-3,4-dihydroxyphenyl alanine (L-DOPA) substrate at pH 6.5 at room temperature; absorbance of the reaction solution was measured at 475 nm. There was no change in PPO assay activity for seeds imbibed in water for up to 8 h. PPO assay activity increased in seeds imbibed from 8 to 16 h, and then gradually declined with increasing imbibing time. PPO assay activity initially increased as a result of mechanical abrasion but then gradually declined with increasing abrasion time. Large seeds had a higher total PPO assay activity than small seeds, but the difference in activity was not proportional to seed weight. There was only a slight difference in PPO assay activity between half-seeds with or without the embryo. Overall, PPO assay activity in dry seeds was stable and exposure of seeds to injury and moisture did not make any signifcant change in PPO assay activity among the cultivars or their relative rankings.
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