Seed-priming with cold plasma and supplementation of nutrient solution with carbon nanotube enhanced carotenoid contents and the expression of psy and pdsin Bitter melon (Momordica charantia)
Recent studies on cold-plasma and nanotechnology in some crop species have shown a potential for application in food, medicine, and crop improvement. Here, the behaviours of Momordica charantia were evaluated, following supplementation of nutrient solution with multi-walled carbon nanotube (CNT) and seed priming with cold plasma treatments. The ultra-structural study of stems confirmed CNT uptake and symplastic transportation. CNT supplementation and seed-priming with plasma synergistically provoked a drastic increase in the plant’s early growth and performance. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis confirmed that the applied treatments mediated variations in transcriptions of the phytoene-synthase gene (McPSY) and phytoene desaturase (McPDS). The McPDS and McPSY genes showed a similar expression trend in which the highest expression levels were observed in CNT50+Plasma 60 group. According to HPLC analysis, the CNT50+Plasma60 treatment was the most effective way to increase concentrations of β-carotene. The applied treatments dependent on dose and treatment method increased zeaxanthin concentration. Similarly, CNT50+Plasma 60 and CNT100+Plasma 60 groups had significantly higher α-carotene levels than the other treatment group. Moreover, the statistical analysis confirmed the significant positive correlations between the expression of target genes and concentrations of carotenoids. Herein, a theoretical basis was gained to exploit in the food, pharmaceutical, and agricultural industries.
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