Document Type


Patent Number

US Patent 6,453,609

Patent agency

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Publication Date



University of Iowa Research Foundation (Iowa City, IA, US)

Application Number


Date Filed


Total Pages

41 pages


The invention consists of a sonication and imbibition process for the uptake of water and/or other beneficial substances into a seed. The seed to be treated is immersed in water or other liquids. The seed is exposed to sound energy at frequencies between 15 kHz and 30 kHz for periods between about 1 and 15 minutes. The ultrasonic energy generates cavitational forces by the adiabatic collapse of microbubbles in the liquid medium, particularly those bubbles that collapse at the surface of the seed. The ultrasonic cavitational forces impart an enhanced stable memory for the seeds to imbibe water and/or other substances beneficial to the seed and/or plant. The ultrasonically treated seed can be dried, stored, and later imbibed with a substance that enhances a growth characteristic of the seed or resultant plant. Upon germination, the plant maintains the enhanced growth characteristics. The effect is substantially enhanced by saturating the water with a noble gas such as helium or argon, or combinations of inert gases.