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Open AccessArticle

A Novel Biostimulant, Belonging to Protein Hydrolysates, Mitigates Abiotic Stress Effects on Maize Seedlings Grown in Hydroponics

1
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy
2
Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (TESAF), University of Padova, viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9010028
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
The main challenge to agriculture worldwide is feeding a rapidly growing human population, developing more sustainable agricultural practices that do not threaten human and ecosystem health. An innovative solution relies on the use of biostimulants, as a tool to enhance nutrient use efficiency and crop performances under sub-optimal conditions. In this work a novel biostimulant (APR®, ILSA S.p.A., Arzigano VI, Italy), belonging to the group of protein hydrolysates, was supplied to maize seedlings in hydroponic and its effects were assessed in control conditions and in the presence of three different kinds of stresses (hypoxia, salt and nutrient deficiency) and of their combination. Our results indicate that APR® is soluble and is able to influence root and shoot growth depending on its concentration. Furthermore, its effectiveness is clearly increased in condition of single or combination of abiotic stresses, thus confirming the previously hypothesised action of this substance as enhancer of the response to environmental adversities. Moreover, it also regulates the transcription of a set of genes involved in nitrate transport and ROS metabolism. Further work will be needed to try to transfer this basic knowledge in field experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: Maize; biostimulant; root; stress; growth; gene expression Maize; biostimulant; root; stress; growth; gene expression
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Trevisan, S.; Manoli, A.; Quaggiotti, S. A Novel Biostimulant, Belonging to Protein Hydrolysates, Mitigates Abiotic Stress Effects on Maize Seedlings Grown in Hydroponics. Agronomy 2019, 9, 28.

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