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Posted on October 8th, 2012, by

Biostimulants are the substances, widely used for improvement of plants’ health, however not ascribed to plants nutrients or pesticides.

They are rather organic materials that, when applied in small quantities, enhances plant growth and development such that the response cannot be attributed to application of traditional plant nutrients (Syltie, 3). The major metabolic process, which are influenced by biostimulants are – respiration, photosynthesis, nucleaic acid synthesis and ion uptake (Syltie, 13). In this paper we are going to discuss the nature of biostimulants, their characteristics, application and influences, along with some examples of commercial companies working with them.

Very often biostimulants are compared to daily vitamins people are used to take. The main target of application of biostimulants is to deliver additional nutrients to the roots of the plant during the times of stress. Stress might be caused be several factors, like for example insects, heat or disease. Because of these stress factors, certain nutrients might be removed from the soil, where the plant grows, this will lead to lack of the needed materials for the roots. In this situation roots loose their ability to produce enough amino acids and vitamins and biostimulants could perform their role. As it was already mentioned, biostimulants are able to impact the metabolic processes of the plants, they also influence the production of RNA, which is needed for the key biological processes. Researchers prove, that biostimulants also influence positively the content of chlorophyll, responsible for green leaves. Biostimulants help the plants to gain minerals from the soil and to avoid chlorosis and they are considered responsible for enabling antioxidant activity in the plants and soils, especially in the situation of stress. Thanks to biostimulants this is easy to make lawns and turf surfaces richer and greener. In the age where caution has to be utilized in chemicals placed on turf, lawns, landscape, horticulture and agriculture, biostimulants can help by utilizing organic means of replenishing needed nutrients into the soil, while enabling the plant to uptake applied products more efficiently decreasing the overall amount of nitrate rich fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides (Hamza, 6).

The important difference between biostimulants and fertilizers lies in the fact, that biostimulants present mixtures of several elements, including plant hormones, enzymes, seaweed extracts and so on. Due to this they are able to have versatile impact on nutrient availability, water-holding capacity, metabolism (Hamza, 8).

A separate place among biostimulants is occupied by humus and humic acids. The term humus is rather old and was known during the times of Romans already. The major source of humic acids is the soft brown coal, which is also named Leonardite. Actually this is not coal yet, rather an organic formation with a different degree of oxidation. Humic acids play a very important role for growth of the plants, for defending plants from too high concentrations of fertilizer salts and promoting fibrous root growth.

Another type of acids, belonging to biostimulants, are fulvic acids humic substances known to be powerful organic electrolytes which help to dissolve minerals and metals (Hamza, 10). To put it in simple words fulvic acids are able to transform minerals for better absorbing of them by plants, thus they are more related to plants, than to soils. They not only increase the amount of vitamins, nutrients, coenzymes, but also may serve as buffer for wilting of plants, because they increase the amount of carbonbhydrates. The result of this process is accumulation of soluble sugars in the cell (Karnok, 68).

Another widespread type of biostimulants are cytokinins. They are usually used for promotion of the division of plants cells. Due to the fact, that they are able to expand the surface of the leaves, they have the impact upon the processes of photosynthesis and production of chlorophyll.

There are a lot of producers of biostimulants and other products for green industry nowadays in the market. One of the examples is Plant- Wise Biostimulant company. The company is concentrated on constant research and development of environmentally safe products. The offer The space-efficiencies of our product design footprints enable our distributors to conserve valuable warehouse area. We provide timely technical support, staff a full-time transportation department to assist customer logistics, and discreetly manage private label programs (Karnok, 68). Plant – Wise Biostimulant Company distribute their products for various clients, including chemical firms, sod farms, erosion control professionals, landscape contractors, breeders of plants and so on.

Overall, in this paper we have briefly studied the issues related to biostimulants, their functions and aims of their application, the major effects, which might be achieved by using them, researched the most widely spread types of biostimulants and provided the example of one of the producer companies. From all the above said, we can conclude, that biostimulants are rather popular nowadays due to their anti-stress characteristics and difference from fertilizers, which produce a nutritional response instead of non-nutritional plant growth responses. However, still most researchers agree, that biostimulants should not be and can not be used as complete substitution for sound agronomic practices.

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