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Carbon Nanoparticles Functionalized with Carboxylic Acid Improved the Germination and Seedling Vigor in Upland Boreal Forest Species

1
School of Science and the Environment/Boreal Ecosystem Research Facility, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Corner Brook, NL A2H 5G5, Canada
2
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, 8102-99 Avenue, Peace River, AL T8S 1R2, Canada
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(1), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10010176
Received: 1 November 2019 / Revised: 14 December 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2020 / Published: 20 January 2020
Nanopriming has been shown to significantly improve seed germination and seedling vigor in several agricultural crops. However, this approach has not been applied to native upland boreal forest species with complex seed dormancy to improve propagation. Herein, we demonstrate the effectiveness of carbon nanoparticles functionalized with carboxylic acids in resolving seed dormancy and improved the propagation of two native upland boreal forest species. Seed priming with carbon nanoparticles functionalized with carboxylic acids followed by stratification were observed to be the most effective in improving germination to 90% in green alder (Alnus viridis L.) compared to 60% in the control. Conversely, a combination of carbon nanoparticles (CNPs), especially multiwall carbon nanoparticles functionalized with carboxylic acid (MWCNT–COOH), cold stratification, mechanical scarification and hormonal priming (gibberellic acid) was effective for buffaloberry seeds (Shepherdia canadensis L.). Both concentrations (20 µg and 40 µg) of MWCNT–COOH had a higher percent germination (90%) compared to all other treatments. Furthermore, we observed the improvement in germination, seedling vigor and resolution of both embryo and seed coat dormancy in upland boreal forest species appears to be associated with the remodeling of C18:3 enriched fatty acids in the following seed membrane lipid molecular species: PC18:1/18:3, PG16:1/18:3, PE18:3/18:2, and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG18:3/18:3). These findings suggest that nanopriming may be a useful approach to resolve seed dormancy issues and improve the seed germination in non-resource upland boreal forest species ideally suited for forest reclamation following resource mining. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon nanoparticles (CNPs); germination rate; membrane lipid; seed dormancy; seedling vigor carbon nanoparticles (CNPs); germination rate; membrane lipid; seed dormancy; seedling vigor
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Ali, M.H.; Sobze, J.-M.; Pham, T.H.; Nadeem, M.; Liu, C.; Galagedara, L.; Cheema, M.; Thomas, R. Carbon Nanoparticles Functionalized with Carboxylic Acid Improved the Germination and Seedling Vigor in Upland Boreal Forest Species. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 176.

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