Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 129, Issue 4, pp 667–673 | Cite as

Water entry for the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) seeds observed by dedicated micro-magnetic resonance imaging

  • Mika Koizumi
  • Hiromi Kano
Technical Note


Water entry at germination for black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) seeds which are known as hard seeds with impermeable seed coat to water, was examined using micro-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI apparatus equipped with a low-field (1 T; Tesla) permanent magnet was used, which is open access, easy maintenance, operable and transportable. The excellent point of the apparatus is that T 1-enhancement of water signals absorbed in dry seeds against steeping free water is stronger than the apparatuses with high-field superconducting magnets, which enabled clear detection of water entry. Water hardly penetrated into the seeds for more than 8 h but approximately 60 % of seeds germinated by incubating on wet filter papers for several days. Hot water treatments above 75 °C for 3 min effectively induced water gap; scarification was 70 % at 100 °C and 75 °C, declined to 15 % at 50 °C and decreased further at room temperature. Water entered into the scarified seeds exclusively through the lens, spread along the dorsal side of the seeds and reached the hypocotyl, whereas water migrated slowly through hilum side to radicle within 3 h.


Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) Dedicated MRI Imbibition Seed coat Time-lapse imaging Water entry 



We thank Handling Editor for valuable advice in preparation of the manuscript and Prof. H. Sakio of Niigata University for kind orientation about the ecology of black locust species.


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute for Science and EngineeringWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Oak-Hill Georgic Patch-Work LaboratoryChibaJapan

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