- Written by Ivan Dulgerov
Researchers from Bulgaria, Ireland, and Chile held a workshop on the molecular mechanisms of biostimulants
As part of the programme of the H2020 project RESIST (https://resist.cpsbb.eu/index.html), scientists from CPSBB (Bulgaria), BioAtlantis Ltd. (Ireland), and Bio Insumos Nativa (Chile) held an online workshop with eight lectures dedicated to the recent developments in the molecular mechanisms of biostimulants and their role in mitigating the effects of climate change. Participants from 15 countries attended the event. The workshop was moderated by the CPSBB’s scientist Dr. Vesselin Petrov.
The CEO of BioAtlantis Ltd. John T. O’Sullivan presented different products of the company for increasing the crop yield, reducing the oxidative stress, and improving soil microbial activity, as well as plant cell division, fruit set, fruit size, tolerance to abiotic stresses, etc. He provided details on the effects of the flagship product SuperFifty Prime (SFP), based on an extract of the brown seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum. Moreover, he emphasized the fruitful cooperation between CPSBB and Bioatlantis in unraveling the molecular mechanisms of action of seaweed extracts.
Dr. Sujeeth Neerakkal, head of Plant Research at BioAtlantis Ltd., revealed that pre-treated or primed plants with SuperFifty Prime, keep the memory of the priming treatment at the DNA level. During subsequent stress exposure, primed plants upregulate protective genes and metabolites and gain faster and more robust stress adaptation responses.
Mihail Angelov, a plant biologist from CPSBB, presented a profound molecular analysis about the alleviation of heat-stress effects on tomatoes by seaweed extract application. The conclusions from the research confirmed that the biostimulant SuperFifty Prime is effective in mitigating heat stress. It also improves significantly important agricultural parameters and modulates some key metabolites involved in abiotic stress tolerance.
The plant biologist from BioAtlantis Ltd. Fiaz Rasul, presented data demonstrating that the biostimulant SFP also reduces flood stress-induced damage in barley.
Dr. Rafe Lyall, a postdoctoral researcher at CPSBB, outlined the important steps and measures that need to be taken while assessing the complex-omics datasets emerging from planned biostimulant-based studies undertaken at the molecular level.
Another postdoctoral researcher working at CPSBB, Dr. Aakansha Kanojia, elaborated on the effectiveness of the biostimulant SuperFifty Prime in combating drought stress in tomato plants and its optimal influence on the fruit-set, size, and yield in moderate and severe drought conditions.
The chief agronomist at BioAtlantis Ltd. Andrés Bascopé, presented field data on SuperFifty Prime in a broad range of crops (tomato, avocado, almonds, walnuts, cherries, and wine grapes), proving the improved fruit set and yield even in adverse weather conditions.
Dr. Eduardo Donoso, R&D Director at Bio Insumos Nativa, Chile, concluded the workshop with a presentation on the application of microorganisms in agricultural soil. He provided phenotypic and physiological data from crop trials, showing improved root morphology and crop development.