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The jasmonates, which include jasmonic acid and its methyl ester (MJ), play a central role in regulating the biosynthesis of many secondary metabolites, including flavonoids, and also are signaling molecules in environmental stresses. Synthesis of anthocyanins pigments is a final part of flavonoids pathway route. Accumulation of the pigments in young seedlings is stimulated by various environmental stresses, such as high-intensity light, wounding, pathogen attack, drought, sugar and nutrient deficiency. The anthocyanins take part in defense system against excess of light and UV-B light, and therefore it is probably main reason why young plant tissues accumulate enlarged levels of the pigments. The effects of exogenously applied MJ on level of anthocyanins, glycosides of apigenin, luteolin, quercetin and proanthocyanidins in seedlings of common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) were studied. MJ decreased contents of all the found cyanidin glycosides and its aglycone in hypocotyls of buckwheat seedlings. However contents of particular anthocyanins in cotyledons of buckwheat seedlings treated with the plant hormone were not significantly different from the control. Applied doses of MJ did not affect levels of quercetin, apigenin and luteolin glycosides in the analyzed parts of buckwheat seedlings: cotyledons and hypocotyls. On the other hand, treatment of buckwheat seedlings with MJ clearly stimulated of proanthocyanidins biosynthesis in hypocotyls. We suggest that methyl jasmonate induces in hypocotyls of buckwheat seedlings the leucocyanidin reductase or anthocyanidin reductase, possible enzymes in proanthocyanidins synthesis, and/or inhibits anthocyanidin synthase, which transforms leucocyanidin into cyanidin. According to our knowledge this is the first report regarding the effect of methyl jasmonate on enhancing the accumulation of proanthocyanidins in cultivated plants.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: W. Wiczkowski, D. Szawara-Nowak, T. Sawicki, J. Mitrus, Z. Kasprzykowski, and M. Horbowicz

The aim of the study was to analyse the content of phenolic acids, total phenolic compounds, proanthocyanidins, and antioxidant capacity in cotyledons and hypocotyl of five cultivars of common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) sprout. This study presents the first broad profile of phenolic acids occurring in buckwheat microgreen seedlings. In the hypocotyl and cotyledons trans-cinnamic acid and its derivatives: o-, m-, and p-coumaric acids (2-, 3-, and 4-hydroxycinnamic), synapic acid (4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxycinnamic), caffeic acid (3,4-dihydroxycinnamic), and two isomers of ferulic acid (4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamic and 3-hydroxy-4-methoxycinnamic) have been identified. Among the benzoic acid derivatives hydroxybenzoic, protocatechuic (3,4-dihydroxybenzoic), gallic (3,4,5-dihydroxybenzoic) and syringic (4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxybenzoic) were found in the organs. In addition to those mentioned, the organs of buckwheat sprouts contain chlorogenic acid as well. The contents of all analysed phenolics were substantially higher in the cotyledons than in the hypocotyl of buckwheat sprouts, except for chlorogenic and caffeic acids. Trans-cinnamic acid was the major phenolic acid in both organs. In the cotyledons, a significant, positive linear correlation between the TEAC, ORAC, PLC-ACW values and content of total phenolic compounds, and also between DPPH and total phenolic acids were found. In the hypocotyl correlations between the DPPH, TEAC, and ORAC and proanthocyanidins content, between TEAC and total phenolic compounds, and between total phenolic acids and PCL-ACW were found.

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The effects of two light intensities on the concentration of several flavonoids were investigated in the cotyledons of common buckwheat seedlings. The study was performed on four days old seedlings of cvs. Hruszowska, Panda, Kora and Red Corolla. One group of seedlings was grown under exposure to 180 ± 20 μmol · m−2 · s−1 photosynthetically active radiation, whereas the other group was exposed to 360 ± 20 μmol · m−2 · s−1. The experiment lasted 5 days. The results revealed that light intensity induces changes in the levels of flavonols and flavones. Increased light intensity contributed to a decrease in the concentrations of all flavone C-glucosides: orientin (luteolin-8-C-glucoside) and iso-orientin (luteolin-6-C-glucoside), and apigenin: vitexin (apigenin-8-C-glucoside) and iso-vitexin (apigenin-6-C-glucoside). Simultaneously, a substantial increase in the content of flavonols, i.e. quercetin O-glycosides, was found. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first evidence to demonstrate the contrary responses of plant flavonols and flavones to light intensity. The content of anthocyanin also increased under exposure to higher light intensity. Our results indicate that quercetin O-glycosides can play a similar role to anthocyanins in the cotyledons of common buckwheat seedlings. Results of correlation analysis indicate that the increase in flavonol and anthocyanin concentrations in response to higher light intensity is maintained through reduced accumulation of flavones and proanthocyanidins.

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