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Calorimetric studies of the state of water in seed tissues

Authors
Journal
Biophysical Journal
0006-3495
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
58
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0006-3495(90)82491-7
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Physics

Abstract

To understand the physical state of water in hydrating biological tissues, thermodynamic properties of water in cotyledons of pea and soybean with moisture contents ranging from 0.01 g H 2O/g dw to 1.0 g H 2O/g dw were studied using differential scanning calorimetry. The heat capacity of the tissues increased abruptly at moisture contents above 0.08 and 0.12 g H 2O/g dw for soybean and pea cotyledons, respectively. Melting transitions of water were observed at moisture contents >0.23 and 0.26 g H 2O/g dw for soybean and pea. However, freezing of water was not observed unless moisture contents exceeded 0.33–0.35 g H 2O/g dw. In both seed tissues, the temperatures of the freezing and melting varied with moisture content and showed hysterisis. The energy of the transition also varied with moisture content and was similar to the heats of fusion and crystallization of pure water only at moisture contents >0.54 and 0.58 gH 2O/g dw for soybean and pea seeds, respectively. The thermal properties of water change distinctly as seed moisture content changes: at least five states or water can be identified.

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