Relationship between colour, phenolic content and impermeability in the seed coat of various Trifolium subterraneum L. genotypes

H. D. Slattery*, B. J. Atwell, J. Kuo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The relationship between seed colour, phenol content of the testa and water impermeability in dark and light seeded genotypes of Trifolium subterraneum L. was investigated. The development of water impermeability and catechol oxidase activity in expanding seeds of two genotypes was monitored. The results show catechol oxidase activity decreases as seed colour changes from green to purple, but the potential to become impermeable with dehydration is not acquired until later in seed development. Both water permeable and impermeable seeds of dark coloured genotypes contain substantial amounts of phenol in the lumen of the Malpighian cells; light coloured testas do not.It is concluded that the darkening of the testa of Trifolium subterraneum is associated with oxidation of phenol by catechol oxidase but that development of impermeability is independent of this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-378
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Botany
Volume50
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1982
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Catechol oxidase
  • Phenol
  • Seed coat impermeability
  • Subterranean clover
  • Testa colour
  • Trifolium subterraneum L.

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