Keywords:Seed Germination, biospeckle optical coherence tomography (bOCT), Zinc and Alumina
There is increasing heavy metal accumulation on farmlands at an alarming rate owing to the mismanagement and the widespread usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that contain high concentration of heavy metals. The industrial use of alumina nanoparticles (NPs) is rapidly increasing in agricultural products and cause various growth effects on different plant species.Therefore, it is important to monitor the effect of heavy metal and alumina NPs for seed germination. Heavy metal stress has been found to influence the germination rate and biological activities of seeds. On the other hand, seed germination and dormancy have great significance on improvement of crop yield and quality requiring reliable seed screening process. Here, we propose the use of biospeckle optical coherence tomography (bOCT) to study the germination of lentil seeds under the exposure of Zn and alumina. OCT is a non-contact and non-destructive technique visualizing that makes use of the speckles observed in OCT to monitor internal structural changes in-vivo. In this study, we proposed the use of bOCT to monitor seed germination under exposure of Zinc and alumina micro or nano particles. The biospeckle OCT images revealed that there was a higher internal activity within the seed compared to control after 24h exposures of Zn and alumina. Further, depending on the concentrations and particle size, there is a statistically significant difference in the mean biospeckle contrast of the seed. Hence, our results confirm the positive impact of low concentration of Zn and alumina or NPs on seed germination due to enhance of energy metabolism. Further investigations are required on the biospeckles, to investigate the effect of increased micronutrient or NPs on seed germination.