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Agronomy 2019, 9(3), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9030143

A Method for a Fast Evaluation of the Biostimulant Potential of Different Natural Extracts for Promoting Growth or Tolerance against Abiotic Stress

1
Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP), Universitat Politécnica de Valencia-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2
Agrometodos S.A., Las Rozas, 28232 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
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Abstract

Under adverse environmental conditions, biostimulants can help crops withstand abiotic stress while increasing productivity. We have designed a sequential system based on two different biological model organisms—the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the plant Arabidopsis thaliana—to evaluate the potential as biostimulants of a battery of 11 different natural extracts on a blind-test basis. Firstly, yeast assays consist in a drop test in solid medium, and a BioScreen® test with liquid cultures. The method is completed with two plant assays to assess effects on germination and growth. The designed method provided relevant data on the ability of each extract to promote biomass accumulation under normal conditions and in the presence of abiotic stresses, such as drought, salinity, or cold. Besides, this laboratory-based method allowed to assess the potential toxicity or unsuspected deleterious effect of each extract in a short period of time (six months) with low budget and space requirements. We could also test the effects of the biostimulants during germination, vegetative, and reproductive growth, under normal and stressed conditions. As each product is tested on different organisms at different developmental stages, we could get some preliminary information on the mode of action. This method enables a fast screen of many different products, in order to select potential candidates to be marketed as biostimulants, avoiding long and expensive field tests with previously uncharacterized products. View Full-Text
Keywords: biostimulant; evaluation; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Arabidopsis thaliana; abiotic stress; growth promoters; model system; salinity; drought biostimulant; evaluation; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Arabidopsis thaliana; abiotic stress; growth promoters; model system; salinity; drought
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Saporta, R.; Bou, C.; Frías, V.; Mulet, J.M. A Method for a Fast Evaluation of the Biostimulant Potential of Different Natural Extracts for Promoting Growth or Tolerance against Abiotic Stress. Agronomy 2019, 9, 143.

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