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Revista Brasileira de Sementes

Print version ISSN 0101-3122


TOKUHISA, Daí et al. Phenolic compound inhibitors in papaya seeds (Carica papaya L.). Rev. bras. sementes [online]. 2007, vol.29, n.3, pp.180-188. ISSN 0101-3122.

The slow and erratic germination of papaya seeds has been attributed to inhibitors present in the sarcotesta. This study was undertaken to evaluate the inhibition effect of sarcotesta extract on lettuce seed germination and to quantify phenolic compounds in papaya seeds. Papaya fruits of the Formosa group, hybrid Tainung 01, were harvested in May and September/2005. At each harvest time, seeds with and without sarcotesta were obtained and the germination percentage was evaluated at 15 and 30 days after seeding. A bioassay was performed with lettuce seeds, which germinated in substratum moistened with water (control) and with solutions obtained from papaya sarcotesta extract. The phenolic compounds were quantified in different structures of papaya seeds (sarcotesta, esclerotesta, endosperm and embryo), using tannic acid as standard and the color reaction with Folin-Ciacalteau reagent measured at 765 nm by spectrophotometry. The bioassay indicated that sarcotesta extract inhibits the germination and growth of the lettuce seedling primary roots due to the presence of inhibitory substances (phenols). A high amount of these substances was found in the papaya seed esclerotesta, followed by the sarcotesta, but there was practically no concentration of these compounds in the embryo and endosperm. Seeds extracted from fruits harvested in May 2005 had dormancy and higher phenolic content compared to seeds harvested in September 2005, which did not exhibit dormancy.

Keywords : germination; sarcotesta; inhibitors; dormancy; Carica papaya L.

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