Does Deep-Underground Storage Stimulate the Germination of Canola (Brassica napus L.) Seed?

  •  Yuxin He    
  •  Chao Liu    
  •  Heping Xie    
  •  Jingchen Wang    
  •  Yang Wang    
  •  Wenhua Zhuang    
  •  Xiao Tan    


Agriculture is a crucial area to be considered when exploring and exploiting the use of deep-underground space. We investigated the feasibility of deep-underground seed storage by keeping canola seed in either envelopes or sealed packages at four depths below the Earth’s surface (0, 240, 690, and 1410 m) at a gold mine in northeastern China. We studied the effects of storage depth and duration by conducting germination tests with the stored seed. The results showed that the rate of germination was reduced in seed stored at deeper levels and was also lower at all depths after a more prolonged period of storage. Seeds from sealed packages exhibited better resistance to the deep-underground environment than seeds kept in envelopes. However, measurements of hypocotyl lengths and biomass accumulation revealed that the germination of seeds stored in deep-underground was initially inhibited but recovered well compared with the control as the storage depth increased. The total biomass of the hypocotyl increased as the depth of seed storage deepened, indicating the existence of a compensatory effect on seed germination. The findings suggest that short-term deep-underground storage of seeds in sealed packages would improve the germination performance of cultivated canola in terms of the hypocotyl length and biomass accumulation and might be considered as a pre-sowing strategy.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.