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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Environmental sciences, Health care sciences and services, Public and environmental health


The effect of two novel technologies, also in combination, on germination and growth of soybeans has been investigated. On one side, ultrasound treatment of the seeds increased water uptake without altering the morphology and the wettability of the seed coat, but also induced slight chemical modifications of the outer part of the seed. Plasma-activated water (PAW), obtained from treating water with non-thermal atmospheric-pressure plasma in air, increased the rate of germination and subsequent plant growth. Different combinations of these two technologies were tested in order to study their interaction and to identify an optimum treatment process. Industrial relevance A great urgency in crop management is to enhance sustainability. The aim is to achieve a cheap and eco-friendly production process reducing the wide current use of energy, irrigation water, chemicals and pesticides. Soybeans is a legume whose worldwide production is increasing in the last years therefore a higher efficiency and sustainability in its cultivation is obviously very appealing. Cold plasma and Ultrasound technologies are well-known in the industrial scenario and their applications in crop production are recently drawing attention; the potential of combining these two powerful techniques is clearly very promising.


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