Effect of osmotic stress and post-stress recovery on the content of phenolics and properties of antioxidants in germinating seeds of grapevine Vitis californica

Stanisław Weidner, Wioletta Brosowska-Arendt, Wojciech Szczechura, Magdalena Karamać, Agnieszka Kosińska, Ryszard Amarowicz


The tested material consisted of grapevine Vitis californica stratified seeds germinated under optimum conditions (+25°C in water), under osmotic stress (-0.2 MPa in PEG solution) and submitted to recovery after stress (+25°C in water). The germinating seeds were determined to contain tannins, catechins and the following phenolic acids: gallic, caffeic, p-coumaric and ferulic. The acids occurred in free, ester- and glycoside-bound forms. The dominant form of phenolic acids was the ester-bound fraction. Gallic acid was the most abundant phenolic acid in germinating seeds, while ferulic acid appeared in the smallest amounts. Our analysis of tannins demonstrated that osmotic stress depressed their concentration. Presence of catechin group compounds such as catechin and epicatechin was also determined. In each sample epicatechin was dominant. The total concentration of catechin increased under stress conditions and declined during post-stress recovery. Catechins are a constituent of tannins and their increase under osmotic stress is most probably caused by the breakdown of some tannins in seeds germinating under stress conditions. Samples submitted to osmotic stress were also found to contain less of total phenolic compounds, whereas in samples which underwent post-stress recovery the total level of phenolic compounds increased. Compared to extracts from seeds germinating under optimum conditions, osmotic stress depressed the capacity of extract to scavenge DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and ABTS●+ – 2,2-Azino-bis (3-etylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) free radicals, but the antioxidant activity rose in seeds submitted to recovery after stress. Positive correlation was therefore demonstrated between the total content of phenolic acids in germinating grapevine seeds and the reducing power of extracts obtained from these seeds and their free radical scavenging activity. The results suggest that osmotic stress inhibits the activity of antioxidizing enzymes in germinating grapevine seeds. Thus, the antioxidative defence system is largely blocked under osmotic stress. It seems that a very high oxidoreductive potential in grapevine tissues prior to occurrence of osmotic stress is essential for maintaining proper homeostasis of oxidation and reduction reactions.


Vitis californica L.; antioxidant system; oxidative stress; osmotic stress; recovery; phenolic compounds

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