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Open AccessArticle

Oligo-Alginate with Low Molecular Mass Improves Growth and Physiological Activity of Eucomis autumnalis under Salinity Stress

Department of Horticulture, West Pomeranian University of Technology, 3 Papieża Pawła VI Str., 71-459 Szczecin, Poland
Department of Soil Science, Grassland Management and Environmental Chemistry, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Słowackiego 17 Str., 71-434 Szczecin, Poland
Center of Bioimmobilisation and Innovative Packaging Materials, West Pomeranian University of Technology, 35 Janickiego Str., 71-270 Szczecin, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marek M. Kowalczuk
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 812;
Received: 10 March 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 31 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biodegradable Polymers)
Biopolymers have become increasingly popular as biostimulators of plant growth. One of them, oligo-alginate, is a molecule that regulates plant biological processes and may be used in horticultural practice as a plant growth regulator. Biostimulators are mainly used to improve plant tolerance to abiotic stresses, including salinity. The aim of the study was to assess the effects of salinity and oligo-alginate of various molecular masses on the growth and physiological activity of Eucomis autumnalis. The species is an ornamental and medicinal plant that has been used for a long time in the traditional medicine of South Africa. The bulbs of E. autumnalis were coated using depolymerized sodium alginate of molecular mass 32,000; 42,000, and 64,000 g mol−1. All of these oligo-alginates fractions stimulated plant growth, and the effect was the strongest for the fraction of 32,000 g mol−1. This fraction was then selected for the second stage of the study, when plants were exposed to salt stress evoked by the presence of 100 mM NaCl. We found that the oligo-alginate coating mitigated the negative effects of salinity. Plants treated with the oligomer and watered with NaCl showed smaller reduction in the weight of the above-ground parts and bulbs, pigment content and antioxidant activity as compared with those not treated with the oligo-alginate. The study demonstrated for the first time that low molecular mass oligo-alginate may be used as plant biostimulator that limits negative effects of salinity in E. autumnalis. View Full-Text
Keywords: oligosaccharides; degree of polymerization; NaCl; plant growth promoter oligosaccharides; degree of polymerization; NaCl; plant growth promoter
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Salachna, P.; Grzeszczuk, M.; Meller, E.; Soból, M. Oligo-Alginate with Low Molecular Mass Improves Growth and Physiological Activity of Eucomis autumnalis under Salinity Stress. Molecules 2018, 23, 812.

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