Due to the existing threat of use of CWA, many countries developed special chemical formulations dedicated to remove CWA - the so-called military decontaminants. The function of the decontaminant is to neutralize the toxic properties of the contaminant through chemical reactions: oxidation and nucleophilic substitution.
The decontaminants released to the environment may transform to toxic products which have a harmful impact on plants and other soil biota. To evaluate the impact of these chemicals on plants phytotoxicity, early growth tests with Sinapis alba, Lepidium sativum and Sorghum saccharatum were used. Parallely with standard toxkit endpoints (seed germination and root elongation, data not presented here), seed vigor indexes and germination indexes were calculated. GI is a more sensitive endpoint in phytotoxicity testing than SVI. The EC50-72h values based on GI are about 2-3 times lower than those based on SVI. Very low PNEC soil values indicate that wide usage of such compositions in case of CWA release will cause damage to vegetation in the environment.
by the formula BI = plant height (cm) × stem diameter (mm), as given by Hatchell et al. (1985) . Germination rate (%) was calculated by dividing the number of seedlings germinated by total number of seeds sown. The plant strength was calculated using the formula given by Maskina et al. (1984) , i.e., the plant strength equals the dry weight of the seedling (g) divided by the height of the seedling (cm). The seedling vigorindex (SVI) was calculated using the formula SVI = germination % × seedling length (cm) ( Abdul-Baki & Anderson 1973 ). Dry weight of the
Broccoli sprouts are natural functional foods for cancer prevention because of their high content of glucosinolate and antioxidant. Sprouts and mature broccoli are of potential importance in devising chemoprotective strategies in humans. The aim of the investigation was to study the effect of essential oils on broccoli seed germination, increase their antioxidant content and determine the glucosinolate concentration and other phytochemical parameters in 3-day-old sprouts during cold storage at 4°C and 95% RH for 15 days. The results showed that all treatments of essential oils increased germination index, seed germination percentage, seedling length, seedling vigour index, yield and the antioxidant content of broccoli sprout and reduced the microbial load compared to the control. Fortunately, the coliform bacteria was not detected in all treatments. Different essential oils of fennel, caraway, basil, thyme and sage were tested. The thyme oil was the best treatment, which increased the accumulation of the phenolic compounds and glucosinolate compared to the control at different storage periods. In the sprouts treated with thyme oil treatment and the control, at the end of cold storage, 1.98% and 28.06% of total phenolic content, 1.90% and 20.28% of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging capacity, 1.39% and 58.33% of flavonoids, 1.93% and 36.25% of vitamin C, 2.95% and 22.02% of anthocyanin and 2.18% and 49.12% of glucosinolate were lost, respectively. A slight reduction differences in all detected compound concentrations occurred between the initial content and the end of storage period because of the application of thyme oil compared to the control. Therefore, the total glucosinolate level in the sprout (27.02 μg/g F.W.) was higher than that in the florets (7.37 μg/g F.W.). Glucoraphanin was the most abundant aliphatic glucosinolate present in the sprout and reached the highest value (16.24 μg/g F.W.) followed by glucoerucin (5.9 μg/g F.W.) and glucoiberm(1.2 μg/g F.W.).
The feasibility of extending the storability of fresh hot pepper seeds, by modifying the storage atmosphere, using the respiration inhibitors and seed desiccants was examined. Halogens such as chlorine, bromine and iodine and methanol, ethanol and potassium permanganate were used for a period of 22 months under accelerated ageing conditions of high seed moisture and temperature. The various seed quality parameters - viability, vigour, speed of germination, seedling dry weight, and moisture content were evaluated. In the untreated control, decreased seed viability was observed within 10 months of storage. However, iodine and chlorine were proved effective in retaining high seed viability up to 90.7 and 88.0%, respectively, even after 22 months of storage. Chlorine treatment was able to retain the seed vigour (904.0), iodine (766.4), KMnO4 (754.4) and methanol (566.7) whereas the value of vigour index in control was 72.0. Chlorine and iodine were on par in their ability to maintain the speed of seed germination (25.2 and 24.8, respectively), followed by KMnO4 (20.2). Seedling dry weight was proved as a parameter not sensitive in estimating the seed quality since even after 22 months storage of seeds at atmospheres of chlorine, iodine, KMnO4 and methanol did not show any differences. KMnO4 sharply reduced the seed moisture content from 9.83 to 7.89% providing better storability over the control.
The period of vegetation and flowering of carrot usually is very long, and the flowers are formed in different parts of the mother plants. This leads to the formation of seeds with different qualities. Often heterogeneity is of a maternal type, which depends on the position of the umbels on the mother plants. The main goal of the present study was to investigate the quality differences in carrot seeds from different parts of the mother plant. The seedstalks from ‘Nantski’, a typical Bulgarian cultivar, were grown by the conventional method for seed production technology. In botanical maturity the seeds from the primary, secondary and tertiary umbels were extracted separately. The seed yield from umbels, dry weight of the seeds, seed size, length, width and thickness, weight per seed, 1000 seed weight, germination energy (first count), germination capacity (final count), mean germination time, uniformity of germination, fresh weight of seedlings, length of radicle, length of hypocotyls and vigour indexes were investigated. The contents of raw protein, sugar, lipids and the basic calorific values were also analysed. The germination was the highest for the seeds from primary umbels, followed by the ones from secondary umbels and lowest for those from the tertiary umbels. The difference between the highest and the lowest value was 6.30%. These results suggest that it is better to harvest the carrot seeds depending on their position on the plant and divide them into separate lots with different qualities.