Domenico Prisa *
CREA Research Centre for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Via dei iori 8, 51012 Pescia, PT, Italy.
GSC Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2022, 21(02), 186-196.
Article DOI: 10.30574/gscbps.2022.21.2.0446
Received on 12 October 2022; revised on 16 November 2022; accepted on 19 November 2022
Research objective: This research work aimed to evaluate the stimulating potential of a product (FertilTomix) obtained by an innovative process of extraction from seawater on seeded plants of Cichorium intybus and Carthamus tinctorius. Furthermore, it was assessed whether there are differences in the product’s potential based on the different types of extraction (lye, soda, soda+silver) and whether there are beneficial interactions with the micro- and mesofauna of the cultivation substrate, with direct and indirect effects on plant mortality.
Materials and Methods: The experiments, started in August 2022, were conducted in the greenhouses of CREA-OF in Pescia (Pt), Tuscany, Italy. On October 28, 2022, plant height, leaves number, leaves surface area, vegetative weight, roots volume and length, the number of germinated seeds, average germination time, the number of microorganisms in the substrate, plants dead number and pH were determined. In addition, the SPAD index was measured on three leaves pinched from the bottom to the apex of the canopy of each plant (for a total of 90 measurements per treatment) and tissue mineral content was evaluated on collected dry matter (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe and Na).
Results and Discussion: The experiment showed that using FertilTomix, regardless of the mineral extraction process from the sea it contains, can significantly increase seed germination, vegetative and root growth, root length and reduce plant mortality in Cichorium intybus and Carthamus tinctorius. A fascinating aspect noted in the treated theses was also the significant increase in microbial biomass, which certainly had a decisive effect on the development of the seeded seedlings and the reduction in mortality. In this respect, a significant increase in the mineral content in the vegetative tissues of plants treated with FertilTomix was evident. The biostimulant based on Ecklonia maxima also showed significant improvements in all agronomic and microbial parameters analyzed compared to the control but less than the treatment with the sea mineral extracts.
Conclusions: The results obtained are particularly interesting for people who have to cultivate in arid environments or without drinking water, as well as those who want to start reducing the use of fertilizers of industrial origin. New experiments are currently underway to evaluate the recycled water obtained from the process of extracting minerals from the sea and assess whether it can be used in agriculture.
Seawater minerals; Microorganisms; Sustainable agriculture; Bio fertilizers; Rhizosphere
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