Anthocyanins are natural antioxidants able to scavenge free radicals, which appear in plant cells under various environmental stresses. In wheat, anthocyanin pigments can be synthesized in vegetative and reproductive organs. The objective of the current study was to estimate the significance of these substances for wheat seedlings protection under irradiation stress (after treatment of dry seeds with moderate doses of gamma-irradiation, 50, 100 and 200 Gy). For this goal a set of near-isogenic lines (8 NILs) carrying different combinations of the Pp (purple pericarp) and Rc (red coleoptile) alleles were used. The effect of gammairradiation on the growth parameters and anthocyanin content in coleoptiles was studied at the 4th day after germination. The germination rate was not affected, while roots' and shoots' lengths and fresh weights as well as root number decreased significantly under irradiation treatment. The effect was deeper under higher doses. Irradiation treatment also induced change of root morphology ('hairy roots'). The effect of treatment on coleoptile anthocyanin content depended on allelic combination at the Rc loci. At the presence of 'weak' Rc-A1 allele anthocyanin content decreased, while it did not change in lines with Rc-A1 + Rc-D1 combination (NILs with intensively colored coleoptiles). Factors 'pericarp color' and 'coleoptile color' influenced vigor of the seedlings under 50 Gy, whereas under higher doses (100 and 200 Gy) these factors did not contribute to growth parameters changes. Statistically significant positive effect of anthocyanins synthesized in coleoptile (in the presence of Rc-A1 + Rc-D1 dominant alleles) on root growth of seedling germinated from 50 Gy-treated seeds was observed.