Bardet, M., Maron, S., Foray, M. F., Berger, M. and Guillermo, A. Investigation of γ-Irradiated Vegetable Seeds with High-Resolution Solid-State 13C NMR. Radiat. Res. 161, 458– 463 (2004).
13C solid-state NMR was used to investigate the effects of γ radiation on vegetable seeds, Pisum sativum and Latuca sativa, at absorbed doses that inhibit their germination. By combining single-pulse excitation and cross-polarization experiments under magic angle spinning, both liquid and solid domains of seeds can be characterized. We showed that the liquid domains, mostly made of triacylglycerols (TAG), of vegetable seeds are not sensitive to radiation. The main structural changes have been observed in the embryonic axes of seeds when the seeds are water-imbibed before irradiation. These results rule out a starting hypothesis concerning the potential role of TAG contained in oil bodies as a potential source of aldehydes that could further react with DNA moiety.