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Special Issue "Plasma-Activated Seed Germination"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ricardo Molina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
Interests: plasma agriculture; atmospheric plasmas; polymer surface functionalization; plasma in liquids; plasma treatment of biomaterials; plasma-assisted polymerization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Seed germination is a complex physiological process that begins with water uptake by the seed (imbibition) and ends with the emergence of the radicle. Both the seed surface characteristics (e.g., specific morphology, structure, or composition) and its surrounding environment (moisture content, temperature, etc.) are known to influence the kinetics and amount of water uptake by the seeds. Therefore, the modification of seed surface properties related to the seed–medium interaction (e.g., hydrophilicity, oxygen permeability) is a useful method that can be employed to control seed germination. At present, the non-thermal plasma surface activation of seeds is increasingly being explored in the agricultural field as an effective pre-sowing treatment modulating seed germination, with an added advantage of providing a certain degree of sterilization against endospores or fungi. However, different aspects concerning the plasma activation of seeds in germination remain poorly understood, and the germination behavior seems not to be univocal. Additionally, although in most cases a positive seed germination effect has been obtained, in some cases the germination rate remains unaffected or even decreases. Therefore, further studies aimed at elucidating the mechanism involved in the germination of plasma-activated seeds are required. This Special Issue calls for original articles and reviews investigating these interesting aspects involved in the germination of plasma-treated seeds, such as seed surface characteristics (seed structure, morphology, or composition), the influence of irrigation conditions, the effect of time elapsed after the plasma treatment, storage conditions (e.g., R.H., temperature), possible genetic damage occurring as a consequence of plasma treatment, plant growth behavior, and studies in future generations of plants.

Dr. Ricardo Molina
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Plasma agriculture
  • Seed germination
  • Ageing
  • Storing conditions
  • Genetic damage
  • Plant growth
  • Disinfection
  • Imbibition
  • Dormancy

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma on Germination Parameters, Enzyme Activities and Induction of DNA Damage in Barley
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(6), 2833; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22062833 - 11 Mar 2021
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Climate change, environmental pollution and pathogen resistance to available chemical agents are part of the problems that the food industry has to face in order to ensure healthy food for people and livestock. One of the promising solutions to these problems is the [...] Read more.
Climate change, environmental pollution and pathogen resistance to available chemical agents are part of the problems that the food industry has to face in order to ensure healthy food for people and livestock. One of the promising solutions to these problems is the use of cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAPP). Plasma is suitable for efficient surface decontamination of seeds and food products, germination enhancement and obtaining higher yields in agricultural production. However, the plasma effects vary due to plasma source, treatment conditions and seed type. In our study, we tried to find the proper conditions for treatment of barley grains by diffuse coplanar surface barrier discharge, in which positive effects of CAPP, such as enhanced germination or decontamination effects, would be maximized and harmful effects, such as oxidation and genotoxic potential, minimized. Besides germination parameters, we evaluated DNA damage and activities of various germination and antioxidant enzymes in barley seedlings. Plasma exposure resulted in changes in germination parameters and enzyme activities. Longer exposures had also genotoxic effects. As such, our findings indicate that appropriate plasma exposure conditions need to be carefully optimized in order to preserve germination, oxidation balance and genome stability, should CAPP be used in agricultural practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma-Activated Seed Germination)
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