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Volume 47 Number 4 Volume 47 Number 5

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Research articles

ScienceAsia 47 (2021): 441-448 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2021.056

Enhancement of seed quality and bioactive compound accumulation in sunflower sprouts by dielectric barrier discharge plasma treatment

Panumart Rithichaia,*, Yaowapha Jirakiattikula, Maneerat Singhawiboona, Nopporn Poolyaratb,c

ABSTRACT:     Dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma treatment has been reported to increase the quality of seeds and seedlings. In order to improve sprout quality, this study was conducted to investigate the effect of DBD plasma treatment on seed germination, vigour, growth, and bioactive compound content of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) sprouts. Two sunflower cultivars, Arfael and Jumbo, were treated using atmospheric DBD plasma at a discharge voltage of 20 kV for 15, 30, 60, 120, and 240 s. The non-treated seeds were used as control. The responses of seeds to the treatment depended on the exposure time and the cultivar. While the treatment stimulated seed germination and improved the vigour of the Jumbo cultivar at all exposure times, the Arfael cultivar responded only to exposures of 60 s, 120 s, and 240 s. Sprouts derived from 60 s, 120 s, and 240 s DBD plasma treatments exhibited greater dry weight than those from other treatments. Moreover, the Arfael sprouts showed a higher bioactive compound level than the Jumbo sprouts. The DBD plasma treatments of both cultivars for 120 s and 240 s enhanced the accumulation of total phenolics and flavonoids. However, plasma treatment did not affect DPPH radical scavenging. The results from this study indicate that the 120 s DBD plasma treatment is effective in enhancing seed germination, growth, and bioactive compound of sunflower sprouts. This study is the first of its kind to illustrate the potential benefits of the DBD plasma treatment to enhance the quality of sunflower sprouts.

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a Department of Agricultural Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Thammasat University, Pathum Thani 12120 Thailand
b Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Thammasat University, Pathum Thani 12120 Thailand
c Center of Advanced Nuclear Technology, Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (Public Organization), Nakhon Nayok 26120 Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail: panumart@tu.ac.th

Received 19 Aug 2020, Accepted 10 May 2021