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Chin. Phys. B, 2022, Vol. 31(12): 128201    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/ac904e

Impact of microsecond-pulsed plasma-activated water on papaya seed germination and seedling growth

Deng-Ke Xi(席登科)1, Xian-Hui Zhang(张先徽)2, Si-Ze Yang(杨思泽)2, Seong Shan Yap(叶尚姗)3, Kenji Ishikawa(石川健治)4, Masura Hori (堀勝)4, and Seong Ling Yap(叶尚凌)1,4,†
1 Plasma Technology Research Center, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia;
2 Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Plasma and Magnetic Resonance, Fujian Engineering Research Center for EDA, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Electromagnetic Wave Science and Detection Technology, Xiamen Key Laboratory of Multiphysics Electronic Information, Institute of Electromagnetics and Acoustics, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China;
3 Department of Physics, Xiamen University Malaysia, Selangor Darul Ehsan 43900, Malaysia;
4 Center for Low-temperature Plasma Sciences, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8603 Aichi, Japan
Abstract  The seed of Carica papaya consists of a hard shell-like testa with inhibitors in vivo causing slow, erratic and asynchronous germination. In this work, plasma-activated water prepared by microsecond-pulsed plasma jets (μPAW) was applied to treat papaya seeds. The μPAW after plasma activation of 30 min was about 40 ℃. The reactive species such as NO2, NO3, and H2O2 in the μPAW activated from deionized water were measured and correlated to the seed germination rate and the seedling growth performance. The μPAW-treated papaya seed achieved a higher germination rate of 90%, which is 26% higher than the control group using deionized water. Comparing the results with a hot water (40 ℃) reference group showed that the reactive species in μPAW played primary roles in germination improvement, with little effect caused by the heat shock. The μPAW also sterilized the treated seeds, reducing the germination stress. The morphological change in the seeds was observed by SEM, showing an effect of physical etching after treatment promoting seed imbibition. The biochemical mechanism of the seed germination was deduced with reference to the evolution of surface chemistry, functional groups, and ABA content. The accelerated seed metabolism observed was corresponded to the chemical modification pathway. Besides, early seedlings developed from treated seeds were observed to be healthy, grow more leaves, and have better root structures. The content of MDA in the treated papaya seedlings decreased along with increased SOD and higher ion concentration. The μPAW that can be prepared at atmospheric pressure for bulk production offers a low-risk and cost-effective seed priming technology that may significantly increase the production of agricultural crops.
Keywords:  plasma-activated water      non-thermal plasma      microbial inactivation      seed metabolism  
Received:  29 July 2022      Revised:  30 August 2022      Accepted manuscript online:  08 September 2022
PACS:  82.20.-w (Chemical kinetics and dynamics)  
  52.75.-d (Plasma devices)  
  92.20.jb (Bacteria, microbiology and microbial ecology)  
  87.15.-v (Biomolecules: structure and physical properties)  
Fund: The authors from University of Malaya acknowledge the support from the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia for the Fundamental Research Project (Grant Nos. FRGS/1/2018/STG02/UM/02/8 and IIRG006A-19FNW). Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51877184).
Corresponding Authors:  Seong Ling Yap     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Deng-Ke Xi(席登科), Xian-Hui Zhang(张先徽), Si-Ze Yang(杨思泽), Seong Shan Yap(叶尚姗), Kenji Ishikawa(石川健治), Masura Hori (堀勝), and Seong Ling Yap(叶尚凌) Impact of microsecond-pulsed plasma-activated water on papaya seed germination and seedling growth 2022 Chin. Phys. B 31 128201

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