Recent agriculture 2.0 development is increasing the collaboration between scientists with different expertise with the aim of innovating agricultural technologies and guarantee in the future sufficient and high-quality food for an always-increasing number of people around the world. In this respect, the use of non-thermal plasma technology in agriculture has recently started a new research trend aiming, for example, at improving seed germination, surface decontamination and resistance to pathogens. In this research, basil (Ocimum basilicum) seeds were treated for different exposure times (from 10 s to 3 min) with low-temperature non-equilibrium plasma produced by volume dielectric barrier discharge (VDBD) in humid air at atmospheric pressure. Plasma treatment did not change the seed structure and morphology, as visualized by high resolution computed X-ray microtomography (μ-XCT). Seed germination rate was evaluated as well as plantlet development after 2 and 3 weeks of age. A faster and higher germination rate was observed, especially for the seeds treated with plasma for 1 and 3 minutes. Also the plantlet, after both 2 and 3 weeks, showed a more developed root apparatus, compared to non-treated plants. Basil seeds were also investigated for their electrical impedance (EI) and for the internal distribution of macro and micronutrients, by using micro X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (μ-XRF). Significant variations in EI were observed after plasma treatment as well as a redistribution of mineral elements such as P, Mg, K and Zn. In particular, P, K and Mg concentrated in the radicle, moving from the endosperm, while Zn, initially concentrated in the cotyledon, appeared more homogeneously distributed inside the whole seed after the plasma treatment. It is likely that this element redistribution in the seed was triggered by the electrical field associated with the VDBD plasma, which caused a movement of important micro and macro nutrients from the storage regions of the seed towards the radicle tissues. This ion movement could explain the observed faster germination of the plasma-treated seeds. In fact, such movement is similar to what is generally observed in seed tissues during germination. The plasma treatment is therefore somehow boosting the mobilization of key-nutrients towards the radicle, thus resulting in a faster and higher germination of the seeds as well as improved characteristics of the basil plantlet, especially at the root level.

Treatment by atmospheric-pressure plasma improves seed germination and plant development

P. F. Ambrico;I. Allegretta;Carlo Porfido;R. Terzano
2019

Abstract

Recent agriculture 2.0 development is increasing the collaboration between scientists with different expertise with the aim of innovating agricultural technologies and guarantee in the future sufficient and high-quality food for an always-increasing number of people around the world. In this respect, the use of non-thermal plasma technology in agriculture has recently started a new research trend aiming, for example, at improving seed germination, surface decontamination and resistance to pathogens. In this research, basil (Ocimum basilicum) seeds were treated for different exposure times (from 10 s to 3 min) with low-temperature non-equilibrium plasma produced by volume dielectric barrier discharge (VDBD) in humid air at atmospheric pressure. Plasma treatment did not change the seed structure and morphology, as visualized by high resolution computed X-ray microtomography (μ-XCT). Seed germination rate was evaluated as well as plantlet development after 2 and 3 weeks of age. A faster and higher germination rate was observed, especially for the seeds treated with plasma for 1 and 3 minutes. Also the plantlet, after both 2 and 3 weeks, showed a more developed root apparatus, compared to non-treated plants. Basil seeds were also investigated for their electrical impedance (EI) and for the internal distribution of macro and micronutrients, by using micro X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (μ-XRF). Significant variations in EI were observed after plasma treatment as well as a redistribution of mineral elements such as P, Mg, K and Zn. In particular, P, K and Mg concentrated in the radicle, moving from the endosperm, while Zn, initially concentrated in the cotyledon, appeared more homogeneously distributed inside the whole seed after the plasma treatment. It is likely that this element redistribution in the seed was triggered by the electrical field associated with the VDBD plasma, which caused a movement of important micro and macro nutrients from the storage regions of the seed towards the radicle tissues. This ion movement could explain the observed faster germination of the plasma-treated seeds. In fact, such movement is similar to what is generally observed in seed tissues during germination. The plasma treatment is therefore somehow boosting the mobilization of key-nutrients towards the radicle, thus resulting in a faster and higher germination of the seeds as well as improved characteristics of the basil plantlet, especially at the root level.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/247602
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